Virtuous Women for the Eight Views

(Kenjo hakkei, 賢女八景)

Publisher: Iba-ya Sensaburô



In eleventh century China, eight views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers developed as a formalized series of landscape paintings.  They represented views of the rivers and wetlands around Lake Dongting.  The same eight views–autumn moon, lingering snow, evening glow, vesper bells, returning boats, clearing weather, night rain and homing geese–are likened to virtuous women from Japanese history and legend in this series of prints.  These prints are each about 14 by 5 inches (36 by 13 centimeters), a size known as chûtanzakuban. 



View: Autumn moon on Saga Moor (Sagano no shugetsu, 嵯峨野秋月)

Virtuous woman: Kogô no Tsubon under a moon on the veranda of her home after being driven from the court

Robinson: S21.1


View: Lingering snow on Mount Yoshino (Yoshino-san bosetsu, 吉野山暮雪)

Virtuous woman: Shizuka-gozen trudging through the snow after her last farewell to Yoshitsune

Robinson: S21.2


View: Evening glow at Yashima (Yashima no sekisho, 八島夕照)

Virtuous woman: Tamamushi-no-mae watching Nasu no Yoichi’s arrow carry away the fan from the pole on her boat at the Battle of Yashima

Robinson: S21.3


View: Vesper bells at Ueno (Ueno no bansho, 上野晩鐘)

Virtuous woman: The poetess Shûshiki looking at the poem she attached to a cherry tree at Ueno

Robinson: S21.4


View: Returning boats at Tsukushi (Tsukushi no kihan, 筑紫帰帆)

Virtuous woman: Empress Jingô armed and wearing voluminous robes watching the return of her victorious fleet from Korea

Robinson: S21.5


Another state of the above design


View: Clearing weather at Mama (Mama no seiran, 真間晴嵐)

Virtuous woman: The faithful wife of Mama walking by a hillside in autumn

Robinson: S21.6


Another state without any purple


View: Night rain at the hunting ground (Kariba no ya-u, 狩り場夕雨)

Virtuous woman: Tegoshi no Shôshô waiting in the rain to guide the Soga brothers to their revenge

Robinson: S21.7


Another state of the above design


View: Homing geese at Kanazawa (Kanazawa no rakugan, 金沢落雁)

Virtuous woman: The poetess Chiyo turning to watch wild geese while sweeping up autumn leaves

Robinson: S21.8


Chiyo’s poem is translated by Robinson as:


Hatsu kari ya

narabete kiku wa



O the first wild goose!

The chrysanthemums arranged–

Something has been stolen.


I am grateful to Ward Pieters for locating this alternate state of the above design.



Another state


“Robinson” refers to listing in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982) and its privately published supplement.