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In a few bold, rich, dark ink strokes, Jakuchū has depicted two rice-cakes, or mochi, sitting on a bunch of greens. The confident assuredness of his brush work injects power into the simple subject matter while energizing the viewer at the same time.
Mochi is made from steamed glutinous rice pounded into a sticky consistency and then formed into round, flattened shapes or cut into squares. Two cakes piled atop one another are called kasane (piled) kagami (mirror) mochi, and they are offered to the gods on New Year’s Day along with a wish for the continued health and happiness of one’s family.
Rosemarie and Leighton Longhi; given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2000.