Imperial letter waka poem “Ukimi ni ha”

Important Work of Art

Emperor Go-Mizunō

Early Edo period (17th century)

Acquired in 2010 (donated by the Homma family)

Emperor Go-Mizunō (1596–1680), third son of Emperor Go-Yōzei, was the 108th emperor of Japan. He reigned during the early years of the Tokugawa shogunate, which were characterized by interference with and oppression of the Imperial Court—including the Purple Robe Incident in which Emperor Go-Mizunō was accused of dishonoring the Shogun’s edict and bestowing honorific garments upon ten priests. The priests that were honored with the robes were subsequently sent into exile. Emperor Go-Mizunō lived longer than any of his predecessors, actively engaging in interactions with many cultural figures until passing away at the age of 85.

The majority of Emperor Go-Mizunō’s writings that have been posthumously celebrated were written from his fifties onwards and provide a sense of the emperor’s temperament as a man of culture.