Rendition of Chapter 37 of the <i>Nise Murasaki inaka Genji</i> (偐紫田舎源氏)
Rendition of Chapter 37 of the <i>Nise Murasaki inaka Genji</i> (偐紫田舎源氏)

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

Rendition of Chapter 37 of the Nise Murasaki inaka Genji (偐紫田舎源氏)

Print


ca 1851 – 1853
30 in x 14 in (Overall dimensions) color woodblock print; ōban triptych

Signed: Ichiyōsai Toyokuni ga - right and left panels
一陽斎豊国画
Kōchōrō Toyokuni ga - center panel
香蝶楼豊国画
Publisher: Yamamotoya Heikichi
(Marks 595 - seal 02-026)
Censors: Mera and Watanabe
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Waseda University
Lyon Collection - Kunihiro - note the wooden doors with the black metal hardware
Lyon Collection - another Rustic Genji triptych by Toyokuni III with a similar interior

Ōsōji means 'spring cleaning', but it also is the name for process/ceremony that was practiced in every Japanese household the day before the new year. Perhaps that is what is being portrayed here.

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There are a number of features of this triptych which are quite striking. However, the most remarkable element may well be the genji-mon decorated wall which has the look of Westernized wallpaper.

There is another edition of this composition with a fairly dark purple-gray background instead of the eye-catching pink of this example. The one with the purple-gray background was shown in a Stiftelsen 3, 14 International Contemporary Art Foundation in Bergen, Norway in 2005.

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There is a curious point of interest between the right panel of this triptych from the 1830s and another print in the Lyon Collection, #566, by Kunihiro from ca. 1823. It is the wooden doors with the black metal hardware. See the link above to make your own comparison.

18304_ca_object_representations_media_1926_small.jpg
ca 1841 illustration from Nise Murasaki Genji

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This triptych is listed but not illustrated in Andreas Marks Genji's World at #G191.

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There is another copy of this triptych in the Latvian Museum of Foreign Art. In that copy the coloring of the background wall is bluish-purple and not pink as in the case of this example in the Lyon Collection.


Yamamotoya Heikichi (山本屋平吉) (publisher)
Genji related prints (Genji-e - 源氏絵) (genre)