Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国)

Print: The Fifth Month (Satsuki - 皐つき) from the series The Twelve Months (Jūnika tsuki no uchi - 十二ヶ月のうち)

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Dates: 1851,created
Dimensions: 10.0 in,14.0 in,Overall dimensions

Signed: Toyokuni ga (豊国画)
Publisher: Minatoya Kohei (Marks 332 - seal 24-074)
Censor seals: Mera and Watanabe

Related links: Ukiyoe ni kiku ; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Diet Library ;

Physical description:

"Satsuki" refers to the 5th month and in ancient nomenclature meant "the month of rice planting."


Notice the sasarindō motif on the robe of Mitsuuji who is leaning down read a letter. Since this mon was said to be the personal crest of the Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147-99) it could not be a crest used at the time of the writing of the Tale of Genji. The kanji for Minamoto 源 is the same character used for the name Genji. They are interchangeable.

The bottom part of Mitsuuji's outfit is decorated with mandarin ducks which are a symbol of marital fidelity. Whether or not Mitsuuji was faithful or not is probably a moot point. Infidelity wouldn't keep him from donning such clothing.