Rachel Cohen

Katayama Yokoku, Marking an Occasion

Katayama Yokoku Marking an Occasion

Katayama Yokoku, Tiger in a Rainstorm, c.1780-1801. Harvard Art Museums. Photo Rachel Cohen.

When I began going to museums with our daughter S, she always liked paintings of animals, and, from an early age, tigers. Sometimes, when I went without her, I would take a few pictures to bring home of things I thought she might especially like.

It is for this reason that I have one photo of this magnificent tiger in a rainstorm, painted by Katayama Yokoku, who was a Kano school painter in the 18th century in Japan. S was two and a half when I took the picture, I was very pregnant, and thinking of her with great tenderness, and anticipating coming changes.

The fur, and the rain, and the way these came off of the wet brush.

S is eight years old today, and tigers are her chosen element. She is surrounded by tigers, and this is one more.

For S, at 8