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Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: An Old Picture of an Up-to-Date Teruuji at the Old Temple
(Imayō Teruuji kodera no kozu - 今様輝氏古寺之古図)

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Dates: 1849 - 1851,created
Dimensions: 31.0 in,15.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print
Inscription:

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
一勇斎国芳画
Artist's seal: kiri in red
Publisher: Sawaya Kōkichi (Marks 460 seal 16-109)
Censors' seals: Kinugasa and Watanabe

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; British Museum; Waseda University - right panel only; Sekisui Museum; Hagi Uragami Museum of Art - right panel; Hagi Uragami Museum of Art - center panel; Hagi Uragami Museum of Art - left panel;

Physical description:

"The setting is an abandoned temple on a lonely moonlit moor. Teruuji, standing in the centre, offers a hand towel to his lover Tasogare, who kneels on the ruined veranda wiping her feet with a cloth. From the next room they are spied on by a mysterious female figure dressed in an elaborate costume of a Nō drama, wielding a red and white stage 'wand' in one hand and gripping the cords of a she-devil (Hannya) mask in her teeth. She is Shinonome, Tasogare's mother, who has stolen an heirloom sword that Teruuji is searching for. In the next scene, wearing the she-devil mask, she will attack the lovers and threaten Tasogare with the sword. The design is a tour de force of cutting and printing, particularly in the way it captures the effect of the painting peeling from the sliding panels that separate two rooms." Quoted from: Kuniyoshi From the Arthur R. Miller Collection by Timothy Clark, p. 236. Illustrated in color on pp. 236-7.

This triptych does not represent any actual scene from the Teruuji-based novels or plays which were themselves take offs on the early Mitsuuji, Rustic Genji novels which were very loosely related to the original classic The Tale of Genji.

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Use the enlargement tool so you won't miss seeing the carved wooden fish, a mokugyo, hanging from the rafters at the top of the left panel near the full moon.