Genji as a Country Bumpkin (Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji), by Ryûtei Tanehiko (1783–1842)Artist(s)Utagawa Toyoshige (Toyokuni II)
; Utagawa KunisadaObject Creation Date1837Medium & SupportIllustrated book, with full-color frontispiece (nishiki e) on paperDimensions
6 7/8 in x 4 5/8 in x 3/8 in (17.46 cm x 11.75 cm x 0.95 cm)Credit LineGift of Cornelius C. VermeuleLabel copy
Utagawa Kunisada had first appeared in the world of Edo print-making in 1807 as a book illustrator, and books remained an important part of his output throughout his career. Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji, or Genji as a Country Bumpkin, was a best-selling ribald parody of the ancient court romance. Modern critics in Japan and in the West consider it to be one of the finest works of Edo-period literature.
Each chapter in the novel was introduced with a full-color page. Here, at the opening of the second part of chapter 23, Kunisada shows a young woman surrounded by books, snuggled under a warm padded kimono. Nearby is an exquisitely decorated lacquer box, built to house a multi-volume novel just like Inaka Genji. Books are spread out on either side, and in front of her is a picture scroll, open to a scene of some miraculous event. Nonetheless, her attention seems distracted, as she looks up—right at the illustration on the opposite page.
"Courtesans, Cross-Dressers, and the Girl Next Door Images of the Feminine in Japanese Popular Prints"
3/9 - 9/1/02Primary Object Classification Print Primary Object Typecolor printCollection AreaAsianRights
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