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The Twilight Beauty (Yugao) Chapter 4

Kunisada I (Toyokuni III), 1853, Wood cut
The Twilight Beauty (Yugao) Chapter 4
The Twilight Beauty (Yugao) Chapter 4
The Twilight Beauty (Yugao) Chapter 4
Category
Library Item
Item no
16234
Title
The Twilight Beauty (Yugao) Chapter 4 from the series "A Modern Collection of Genji in Colour Prints" ("Ima Genji nishiki-e awase")
Description
This print depicts a woman, Tasogare (Yugao), dressed in rustic clothing, standing next to Mitsuuji (Genji). In one hand she holds a comb ornament that she has taken from her hair, and in her other hand she holds a pipe. The blue and white clothing draped around her body suggests that she is of a lower class than the highborn Mitsuuji. Mitsuuji leans upon a low black lacquer table. Behind them stands a folding screen.
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).
This chapter from 'A Rustic Genji' takes inspiration from Murasaki Shikibu's 'Yugao' chapter in the 'Tale of Genji'. The female character of Yugao is reinvented as Tasogare, the daughter of Shimone. This section of 'A Rustic Genji' reveals a vendetta plot, in which Shimone is seeking to take revenge on Mitsuuji who is the offspring of the man who destroyed her father. In this chapter, Shimone is exposed as the thief who stole the Kogarasumaru sword. When Tasogare and Mitsuuji realize they are in danger, they take flight, but are followed by Shimone to an old temple. When Shimone attempts to stab Mitsuuji, Tasogare commits suicide. Shimone is fatally wounded by Mitsuuji, but before she dies she reveals her vengeful motives.
The emblematic flowers, 'Evening Faces', that appear in the 'Tale of Genji' are transformed into 'Crow Gourds' in 'A Rustic Genji', effectively recalling the name of the stolen sword, 'Little Crow'.
Artist / maker
Kunisada I (Toyokuni III)
Date
1853
Size
27.9 x 19.8 cm
Type
Location
Art and Design Library
Rights and purchasing
Option
Price
Digital FileElectronic file 72 dpi JPEG
£5.11(inc. VAT 20%)
Digital FileElectronic File 300 dpi TIFF
£26.04(inc. VAT 20%)
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