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Genre: Genji related prints (Genji-e - 源氏絵)

Related links: Wikipedia: entry for "Nise Murasaki inaka Genji";

Biography:

The 11th-century novel, The Tale of Genji [Genji monogatari], written by the lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu, was the basis for a parody written by Ryūtei Tanehiko (1783-1842) and illustrated by the artist Utagawa Kunisada, and was published over the years 1829 through 1842, "False Mursaki and Rustic Genji" [Nise Murasaki inaka Genji].

The plot centres on the outlandish adventures of Ashikaga Mitsuuji, second son of Ashikaga Yoshimasa, while seeking to recover a stolen sword, mirror, and poem, upon which the security of the realm depend.[3] The preface to the first chapter intrdouces the character Ōfuji, whose nickname is Murasaki Shikibu.

The illustrated volumes proved so popular with the Edo public that Kunisada went on to create many print series, and multi-paneled sets on the Rustic Genji theme through the years until the end of his career. Rustic Genji is instantly recognizable by his odd, shrimp-like hair style.