List of Works

"The Old Plum"

The Old Plum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Harry G.C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975(1975.268.48a-d)Photograph © 1983 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
These images are based on the high resolution facsimile produced by the Tsuzuri Project. Unauthorized copying, duplication, or transfer of these images is strictly prohibited.

  • Artist: Kano Sansetsu
  • Historical era: Edo (17th century)
  • Material: Printed on washi, with gold leafs applied
  • Medium: Four sliding doors
  • Theme: High Resolution Facsimile of Japanese Art Abroad
  • Size: Each door 166.7 x 116.0 cm (L x W)
  • Recipient: Tenshoin, a subtemple of Myoshinji Temple
  • [Original]
  • Current owner: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Material: Gold-colored paper


The old plum tree almost looks like a lizard about to move and leaps off the screen. Branches stretching from the large thick trunk, as if searching for growing space, bear young plum blossoms which declare the arrival of spring, a depiction that adds charm and life to this creation. The old plum tree extends sideways from the ground, and then climbs upward toward heaven where it descends and finally extends leftward as if reaching for something. This work is considered an epic by Sansetsu in his later years, and visualizes the dynamic life still within Sansetsu as he grew old.


Kyoto Culture Association (NPO)
Canon Inc.


Kyoto Culture Association (NPO)
Formerly Kyoto City Seitoku Junior high school 3F
290 Hanjocho Takatsuji Street Muromachi nishi
Shimogyo ku
Kyoto City, Kyoto
Japan 600-8433