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The Broom Tree (Hahakigi) Chapter 2

Kunisada I (Toyokuni III), 1853, Wood cut
The Broom Tree (Hahakigi) Chapter 2
The Broom Tree (Hahakigi) Chapter 2
The Broom Tree (Hahakigi) Chapter 2
Library Item
Item no
The Broom Tree (Hahakigi) Chapter 2 from the series "A Modern Collection of Genji in Colour Prints" ("Ima Genji nishiki-e awase")
The print depicts an attractive young woman defensively holding up a woven lampshade. The male character, Mitsuuji (Genji), has approached her holding a branch of cherry blossom. The wax from a melted candle has tipped over and in the background a number of letters have been strewn across the floor. The woman is dressed in a red kimono tied at the front with an obi belt, her garment gapes open and reveals her thigh. This encounter takes places in a domestic interior setting. The sliding screen doors have been opened to display an engawa walkway, a cherry blossom tree in bloom and rippling water.
This image derives from the serial novel or 'gokan', 'A Fake Murasaki and a Rustic Genji' (Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji) written by Ryutei Tanehiko and illustrated by Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III), that was published between 1829-1842. This story reworks elements from the 'Tale of Genji' and transposes the action from the Heian period (794-1185) to the time of the Muromachi era's Onin Wars (1467-1477).
In 'A Rustic Genji' there are many parallels with Murasaki Shikibu's 'Tale of Genji', one similarity being the close father-son relationship between Genji and the Emperor. In 'A Rustic Genji' Mitsuuji is the favoured son of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa. Ashikaga Yoshimasa considers promoting Mitsuuji by confounding the rightful succession of the Heir Apparent, Yoshihisa. Mitsuuji, bound by loyalty to his older brother Yoshihisa, realises that he must ruin his own reputation in order to ensure the rightful and peaceful succession of Yoshihisa. Mitsuuji discredits himself by becoming the archetypal playboy entangled in numerous love affairs. When a precious sword, the Kogarasumaru (Little Crow), is stolen from the palace storehouse, Mitsuuji turns detective and uses his playboy persona as a cover for his activities as a secret investigator. 'A Rustic Genji' combines the popular genres of the romance novel and the detective story.
Artist / maker
Kunisada I (Toyokuni III)
27.9 x 19.8 cm
Art and Design Library
Rights and purchasing
Digital FileElectronic file 72 dpi JPEG
£6.10(inc. VAT 20%)
Digital FileElectronic File 300 dpi TIFF
£31.00(inc. VAT 20%)
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