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The Mayfly, Chapter 52 (Kagero)

Kunisada I (Toyokuni III), 1853, Wood cut
of 85
The Mayfly, Chapter 52 (Kagero)
The Mayfly, Chapter 52 (Kagero)
The Mayfly, Chapter 52 (Kagero)
The Mayfly, Chapter 52 (Kagero)
Library Item
16248
The Mayfly, Chapter 52 (Kagero) Chapter 52 from the series "A Modern Collection of Genji in Colour Prints" ("Ima Genji nishiki-e awase")
Mitsuuji (Genji) is shown walking along a cliff top path under a full moon, a temple pagoda is visible in the distance. Mitsuuji raises a folding fan towards the sky. The fan is decorated with a picture of a mayfly, a reference to the title of this chapter from the 'Tale of Genji'. He is accompanied by two young children, a boy and a girl, who together play with a round fan that has been attached to a long pole. Mitsuuji wears his hair in a lobster tail topknot bound by purple cord and is dressed in a blue kimono and a purple outer jacket. The hilts of two swords are visible at his waist. During the Tokugawa era, double swords could only be worn by men of the samurai class. The children are dressed in bright geometrically patterned kimono.

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)
1853
27.9 x 19.8 cm
Art and Design Library
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