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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Three Friends by a Mountain Stream

Three Friends by a Mountain Stream


Tanomura Chokunyu

Japanese, 1814-1907

The three friends mentioned in the title of this hanging scroll are the pine, bamboo, and plum. As a group, the three plants symbolize longevity and endurance for their ability to thrive in a harsh winter climate; they also serve as metaphors for the gentleman scholar, an ideal figure who pursues cultural activities as an end in themselves.

Ink and light colors on silk satin
81 1/4 x 25 1/8 in. (206.4 x 63.8cm)
Gift of Griffith and Patricia Way, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum
Not currently on view


Published ReferencesMichiyo, Morioka; Berry, Paul. "Modern Masters of Kyoto: The Transformation of Japanese Painting Traditions," Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1999, p. 94, illus. 12.

The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.