Yugao Chapter from The Tale of Genji

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: The Yugao Chapter from The Tale of Genji
(Tsuki hyakushi: Genji yugao no maki)

signed Yoshitoshi with artist's seal Taiso, carved by Yamamoto, and publisher's date and address seal Meiji jukyunen, sangatsu, -ka; Nihonbashi-ku Muromachi Sanchome 9-banchi, insatsu ken hakkosha Akiyama Buemon (Meiji 19 [1886], March) of Akiyama Buemon of Kokkeido

oban tate-e 14 5/8 by 9 7/8 in., 37.1 by 25.2 cm

In this composition Yoshitoshi depicts the lonely ghost of Yugao (named for the morning glory vine), surrounded by the twisting vines of her namesake, from the Heian-period epic novel The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari). Yugao was a tragic lover of the titular Prince Genji. Their fleeting affair is cut short when the beauty is killed by Genji's jealous former mistress, Lady Rokujo. Yugao is also featured prominently in the 19th-century A Rustic Genji, a popular adaptation of the original tale, under the name Tasogare. In the adaptation, Tasogare becomes deeply ashamed when the ghost of her mother tries to kill the lovers, and commits suicide herself. Yoshitoshi depicts Mitsuuji, the adaptation's Genji stand-in, fleeing into the night with Tasogare in an 1885 vertical diptych.

References:
Keyes 1983, p. 462, no. 478.28
Segi 1985, p. 61, no. 30
van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 74, no. 54.28
Akita Museum of Modern Art 1999, p. 30, no. 91
Stevenson 2001, no. 29
Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2009, p. 26, no. 2.29
Marks 2012, pp. 152-154
Iwakiri 2014, p. 153, no. 231

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