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The Green Branch (Sakaki) Chapter 10

Kunisada I (Toyokuni III), 1853, Wood cut
of 82
The Green Branch (Sakaki) Chapter 10
The Green Branch (Sakaki) Chapter 10
The Green Branch (Sakaki) Chapter 10
The Green Branch (Sakaki) Chapter 10
Library Item
The Green Branch (Sakaki) Chapter 10, from the series "A Modern Collection of Genji in Colour Prints" ("Ima Genji nishiki-e awase")
One woman crouches down beside another woman who is holding a green 'sakaki' branch. This evergreen branch is considered sacred and is frequently used in Shinto religious festivals. The branch has been decorated with folded paper Shinto offerings or 'gohei'. Behind them stands a wooden Shinto 'torii' gate, marking the entrance to a shrine. The brushwood fence and the 'unbarked' torii gate are referred to in the 'Tale of Genji'. Both of the women wear ornamental hairpins and highly patterned kimono and obi belts. Their red inner kimono adds an element of eroticism to their dress. The printer employs a technique known as 'bokashizuri' to create a subtle blending of colour which is used to add depth to the picture plane.

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).
Kunisada I (Toyokuni III)
27.9 x 19.8 cm
Art and Design Library
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