(Click here to view a larger version of this print)

In 1825 Ryutei Tanehiko began a serial novel called "Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji" (The Imitation Murasaki and the Rustic Genji), which follows the story line of the original novel "The Tale of Genji" by Lady Murasaki Shikibu (978 -1014). However, 'The Rustic Genji" is set in the 15th century, and the love affairs of Prince Genji take place in the licensed quarters, rather than at court as in the original novel.

The popularity of "The Rustic Genji" inspired many prints and series of prints. Many artists designed comparable prints associating courtesans with different chapters of "The Tale of Genji". This print is one such print. Different Genji crests were assigned to each of the chapters. The lanterns, and parts of the design in the clothes worn by the lady on the right of the Go board, are decorated with the Genji crest representing Chapter Three. This print features Genji watching two ladies at the Go board. In Chapter Three of "The Tale of Genji", Prince Genji watches Utsusemi play Go with her sister.

The IGS Art Gallery (Maple)


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