Utagawa Kunisada woodblock print

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III, 1786-1865)

A Collection of Charming Tales of Genji:
Chapter 25; Spring Shoots II
(Genji goshu yojo: Dai niju go no maki; Wakana no ge)

deluxe printing with blind printing on the entire background in a pattern of stylized clouds and a variety of Genji-mon (crests that identify each of the fifty-four chapters); signed Toyokuni ga, with publisher's seal Ryogoku Hirokoji, Hayashi sho ban, date seal of Uma-ni (year of the horse [1858], 2nd month)

oban tate-e diptych 14 3/8 by 19 5/8 in., 36.4 by 49.7 cm

This title of this particular series, Genji goshu yojo, is a pun. Phonetically, Genji goshu yojo sounds very much like Genji go-ju-yon (a typical title referring to the 54 chapters in the story), however, the kanji used in the title carry a different meaning: goshu means 'collected,' while yojo translates as 'charm.' Rather than depict the familiar scenes associated with each chapter, Kunisada explores subjects inspired by the 'charm' of the romantic tale.

In the original Genji Monogatari, Chapter 25 is titled Hotaru ("Fireflies"), and Chapter 35 is titled Wakana no ge ("Spring Shoots II").

Reference:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (www.mfa.org), William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, 1911, accession no. 11.29833; 11.29838

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kikumon

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site last updated
October 11, 2019

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