Hirayama Ikuo Painting Work
The Silk Road

Illustration for the front cover of the book, the “Gyokuwanki (Account of a beautiful bowl) , Inoue Yasushi’s Novel

  • Hirayama Ikuo
  • Color on Paper (Japanese Style Painting, Nihonga)
  • 24.2×27.4cm

This is the original cover painting of Life of a Counterfeiter, a short novel collection that included the Inoue Yasushi's short story “Jade Bowl” (published in 1951). The outline of the camel caravan could be seen from the horizon in the desert, in front of which is a circular transparent glass and jade bowl made in the Sassanian Empire. The circular glass bowl, known as the imperial object of Sh_s_-in, was transported from Persia to Central Asia, China and Japan via the Silk Road. It was a very popular trade product at that time. This piece of work did not leave a title and drawing time. It is presumed that it should be painted for the “Jade Bowl” included in the collection of short stories. The short story “Jade Bowl” describes the rough fate of the “white glazed bowl” used in Sh_s_-in and the same type of glass bowl unearthed from Emperor Ankan Mausoleum. “Jade Bowl” was published in 1951, and the first edition of Bunkobon was published in 1956. The cover of the Bunkobon was updated in 1981 using this piece of work. Therefore, painting should also be painted around this period.