“Kodojin cooked his own, very simple, meals in his study. When a friend visited bearing some cakes, they would drink tea and eat in the same room. But toward the end of the war, rationing was severe, and Kodojin refused to buy extra food on the black marked. He wrote to his friend Sakaguchi Shichirobei that he was growing very weak from so little food and drink and could no longer leave his house. Even walking indoors was painful, and he could only sit and wait for death.” (Addiss: Old Taoist; The Life, Art, and Poetry of Kodojin, p. 54.)
This letter was a gift to his friend Taiji Gorosaku on the occasion of his visit, June 13th, 1944. – Six weeks later Kodojin passed away.
“but the brush didn’t move”
“Trying to write an old quote, but the brush didn’t move./ In my mind, the moon rose in the bamboo./ Then it moved me to draw these three.” – Kodojin
This maybe the last poem from the hand of this great painter, poet and literatus who knew that his end was near.
“Vermillion Bamboo” (shuchiku) is a popular motive in Chinese painting, but less common in Japanese Nanga painting.