Tagami Kikusha was a prominent Japanese poet born in what is now Yamaguchi, Japan, during 1753. She lived a life devoted to arts, writing, painting, and perfecting her craft. Widowed at just 24, independent, and alone, Kikusha adopted a son and spent more than half of her life traveling on journeys throughout her country. Her innate desire for adventure and exploration expanded to a quest to advance both her spirit and her art. Her visual representations blossomed to encompass remarkable poem-paintings with subjects based upon Buddhism, Confucianism, fortune, landscapes, figures, flowers, plants, and animals perfectly suited to her pseudonym which translates literally to mean “Chrysanthemum Hut.” Unconventional, spirited, spontaneous and defying classification, the simple yet provoking form which effectively captured the essence of both the artist and her subjects.
“Only the moon and I
remain on the bridge
From: Haiku An Anthology Of Japanese Poems by Stephen Addiss, Fukimo Yamamoto, and Akira Yamamoto