Tale of Genji: Ch. 50, Azumaya, c. 1880
Ink on Paper
13 9/16 in. x 8 13/16 in. (344.49 mm x 223.84 mm)
From the Tale of Genji.
Japanese text printed in the upper left area of image. Seals: upepr right, right edge center, lower left corner. Signed: Ikkeisai Yoshiiku ga. Artist's seal: Yoshi-kiri.
Colored ink woodblock on paper.
Meiji period color woodblock print with an image of an old man and the ghost of a beautiful woman. While Murasaki Shikibu's text for the Tale of Genji does not include such an apparition in Chapter 50 "The Eastern Cottage," ghost stories were extremely popular in the kabuki theater; and this might be a reworking of Genji for the stage in which the old woman, mother of the Bishop of Yokawa, envisions an entangled figure, Ukifune. Caught in a romantic triangle, Ukifune will try to drown herself, but later (in Chapter 53) she is found unconscious along the banks of the Uji River by the Bishop.
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