These lush paintings reference one of the most frequently depicted episodes from classical Japanese
literature: the "Yatsuhashi" (Eight Bridges) chapter from The Tales of Ise, a 10th-century collection
of lyric narratives loosely relating the frequently amorous adventures of the courtier Arawara no
Narihira. Here, Narihira and fellow courtiers travel from Kyoto, stopping at a site near present-day
Nagoya where eight planked bridges span streams running through a moor. Pausing for the evening,
they dine on simple balls of dried rice moistened by their tears, as they long for loved ones at home.
Lee found the tension produced by the extreme understatement of narrative particularly attractive.
He likened the irises to musical notations making a "nervous and sprightly pattern against the gold."