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

Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国) (artist 1786 – 01/12/1865)

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


10 in x 14 in (Overall dimensions)

Signed: Toyokuni ga (豊国画)
Publisher: Minatoya Kohei (Marks 332 - seal 24-074)
Censor seals: Mera and Watanabe
Ukiyoe ni kiku
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
National Diet Library

"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.
Minatoya Kohei (湊屋小兵衛) (publisher)
Genji related prints (Genji-e - 源氏絵) (genre)