- By Miyamoto Musashi.
- A pair of folding screens, ink-sketch; each, 11 feet 9 inches by 5 feet 2/3 inch.
- Owned by Marquis Morishige Hosokawa.
Miyamoto Musashi, whose real personal name was Masana, also called Kwanjiro in his boyhood, and whose artistic pseudonym was Niten, was a son of Munisai, a warrior of the province of Harima. Musashi studied the art of fencing and it was his travels all over the country he beat the ablest swordsmen of every school. In his little more than three score years he successfully defended his life nearly as many times, invariably striking his antagonist on the forehead. During the period of Keicho (latter part of the 16th century) he fought in battles of Sekigahara and other places. Afterwards he became a vassal of Lord Hosokawa (of the family of the present Marquis Hosokawa), and died in 1645 A.D. at Kumamoto aged sixty-four. Every boy knows of his bravery. His revenge on Sasaki Ganriu, the murderer of his father, how he slew him with nothing but two pieces of wood, is a favourite subject with theatres and storytellers. Not only was Musashi unequalled in bravery and swordsmanship, but he was also proficient in the peaceful art of painting, which he studied under Kaihoku Yusho, adopting also the style of the Hasegawa school. Executed in his bold dashing manner his paintings are elevated, spirited and vigorous, his energetic spirit plainly discovering itself on the canvas.
The two pictures here given were painted by Musashi for his Lord Hosokawa. In one a number of wild ducks are in a alley in the height of its autumnal beauty. The other is a snow scene, with a few wild geese on a dreary wintery bank. Of the two the former is especially admirable for its vigorous touches and harmonious compotition. The great artist Tanomura Chikuden had a prejudice against this style of paintings, but even he admired and highly prized a picture in his possession of "Hotei" painted by Musashi. Indeed these two paintings are treasures not only of Marquis Hosokawa, but of the nation.
- 田島志一編 『真美大観 第三册』 日本佛教眞美協會、1900年。