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Genji

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Utagawa Kunisada (aka Toyokuni III), Japanese, (1786–1864)
Genji of the East, c. 1860
Ink on Paper
7 in. x 4 3/4 in. (17.78 cm x 12.07 cm)


Object Type: Book
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Catherine and Charles Coats
Accession Number: 2000.2.2.a, b


Commentary
Book "a" is 12 pages, book "b" is 13 pages.

Medium
Black and colored ink woodblock printing on paper.

Object Description
These booklets contain part of a "modern" translation of the 11th century "Tale of Genji," a novel written by Muarsaki Shikibu. By the mid-19th century, the original text was difficult to read, and so various translations, adaptations and parodies were published in inexpensive formats. Kunisada was one of the many artists who provided illustrations for such popular literature. The cover of one booklet shows Genji standing in front of a European style bed, perhaps part of Kunisada's effort to up-date the classic. The back cover has Genjiko (geometric symbols) printed for each of the 54 chapters.

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