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Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Lingering snow on Mount Yoshino (Yoshino-san bosetsu 吉野山暮雪 ) from the series Virtuous Women for the Eight Views (Kenjo hakkei - 賢女八景)

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Dates: circa 1842 - 1846,created
Dimensions: 5.0 in,14.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print
Inscription:

Signed: Chōōrō Kuniyoshi ga
朝桜楼国芳画
Publisher: Ibaya Senzaburō
(Marks 127 - seal 11-011)
Nanushi censor's seal: Tanaka

Related links: British Museum; Tokyo Metropolitan Library; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Freer/Sackler Galleries; Tikotin Museum of Art;

Physical description:

Shizuka-gozen toiling through the snow after her last farewell to Yoshitsune.

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"Futari Shizuka 二人静 ('The Two Shizukas'), by Kanze Motokiyo Zeami 観世元清世阿弥, 1363-1443, is a play of the third, or woman, category. Like many other works of the noh repertory, it is based on the events in the war between the Minamoto and Taira clans, 1180-1185, and its aftermath. The Minamoto hero, Yoshitsune 源義経, 1159-1189, flees the forces of his half-brother, Yoritomo 源頼朝, 1147-1199, who suspects him of treachery. He tries to sail south from the main island of Japan, but his boat is blown back to shore. Later in his flight Yoshitsune is obliged to abandon his beloved mistress, Shizuka, at Yoshino. His travels finally take him to the north of Japan. At Koromogawa Yoshitsune is attacked by Yoritomo's forces and commits suicide after killing his wife and children.

Although separated from Yoshitsune, Shizuka is also a fugitive, and Yoritomo intensifies his pursuit when he learns that she is carrying his half-brother's child. He has her brought to Kamakura, and when she gives birth to a son, Yoritomo has the child killed to deprive Yoshitsune of male heirs."

Quoted from: 'The Two Shizukas: Zeami's Futari Shizuka' by Jacqueline Mueller.

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The text in the cartouche at the top of this print reads: 静御前(しづかごぜん) 磯(いそ)の禅師(ぜんじ)が女(むすめ)なり容貌(ようぼう)たぐひなく男舞(をとこまひ)の上手(じやうづ)にして其名高(そのなたか)し義經(よしつね)の寵(ちやう)あいふかく吉野(よしの)にて公(きみ)にわかるゝにのぞみ涙(なみだ)ながらに一(いつ)しゆの哥(うた)をゑいじける よしの山(やま)峯8みね)の白雪(しらゆき)ふみわけて入(いり)にし人(ひと)の跡(あと)の恋(こひ)しき