The many brave heroes standing, side by side, but this one has a strategy, which will never offend heavens will, by what is great peace to be measured? Just one kind heart will last 300 years. Signed: Old Man Taiitsu
This calligraphy is executed in ink on paper. There are a total of three red seals present in the piece, one in the upper right hand corner, and two towards the left center of the piece. The calligraphy is very strong and forceful, with broad, well defined strokes. The work is mounted on golden silk.
Murase Taiitsu was trained primarily as a Confucius scholar but excelled at both calligraphy and painting. He produced paintings of figures and landscapes accompanied by poems, as well as works of pure calligraphy such as the one seen here. This example is a tribute to a military figure whose leadership exemplified Ren (benevolence), the highest Confucian virtue.
Taiitsu was a member of a group of Japanese painters who followed the styles and ideas of the Chinese Southern School of literati (non-professional artist-scholar) painting that flourished during the Ming period (1368–1644). Taiitsu, considered by many a notable eccentric, brought his singular, personal touch to the tradition. A distinctive feature of his brushstroke is its dancing quality, which conveys an exuberance and vigor lacking in the work of his fellow Japanese literati painters, who adhered more closely to Chinese styles.