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Utagawa Kunisada (aka Toyokuni III), Japanese, (1786–1864)
Tale of Genji: Ch. 05, Wakamurasaki, 1852
Ink on Paper
24.4 cm x 17.5 cm (9 5/8 in. x 6 7/8 in.)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Purchase by the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2001.2.43

There is a text block printed in the upper right area of the print, with a signature in a red block. There is a signature printed in the lower right, and another in the lower left. Three seals are printed in the lower left.

Colored ink woodblock print on off-white paper. Chuban tate-e.

Object Description
Late Edo period color woodblock print depicting a bijin and a young boy on a veranda watching two sparrows in flight. Kunisada has greatly animated the depiction of young Murasaki, as she chases after her escaping pet sparrows. The little girl seems much more child-like in this image, in fact younger than her 10 years, and the clothing of her nurse Shonagon is more typical of an elegant 19th centrury courtesan than a court attendant. The cartouche has a poem describing the grasses of Musashi, which did not surround Kyoto where The Tale of Genji took place but were near the brothel district of Yoshiwara where this scene seems to be staged.


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