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Genji ukifune (Sanogawa Ichimatsu entertaining a courtesan in a boat, a parody of the Ukifune chapter of the Tale of Genji)
奥村政信筆  「 源氏浮船」
Date: approx. 1741-1744
Object Name: Woodblock print (beni-e)
Materials: Ink and hand applied colors on paper
Dimensions: H. 12 3/4 in x W. 17 1/4 in, H. 32.4 cm x W. 43.8 cm (ōban)
Credit Line: Gift of the Grabhorn Ukiyo-e Collection
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Prints And Drawings
Object Number: 2005.100.9
On Display: No

Description

Label:

A boat bearing an attractive couple drifts along by the light of a waning moon, in a tongue-in-cheek mitate rendering of a famous episode from The Tale of Genji. The novel relates that in an effort to win the beautiful Ukifune’s affections, Genji’s grandson Niou takes her one wintry day on an excursion to the Isle of Oranges. The Ukifune scene is typically depicted with snow or the orange trees on the island, and Ukifune usually sits upright facing Niou in the boat. Masanobu’s offers instead a more languid scene, in which the Kabuki actor Sanogawa Ichimatsu I, nattily attired in a checked jacket and stylish coiffure, taps a hand drum for a reclining courtesan who rests on one elbow with snacks and sake close at hand. The words of a love song hang in the air:

Yuki ya yuki ya
mi wa ukibune
ni tsumoru koi
Heavy snow,
settling in a drifting boat
my heart is filled with longing

Sanogawa Ichimatsu had recently made his debut on the Edo stage when this print was made, rapidly rising to the status of matinee idol.4 His adoring fans would have enjoyed seeing him thus imagined in a romantic scene from a literary classic.

 


More Information

Signature/Seal: Signature: 芳月堂丹鳥齋奥村文角政信画 Hōgetsudō Tanchōsai Okumura Bunkaku Masanobu ga

Artist’s seal: 丹鳥齋 Tanchōsai

Collector’s seal: Edwin Grabhorn


Exhibition History: On rotation in "Designed for Pleasure: The World of Edo Japan in Prints and Paintings, 1680-1860", Asia Society, 2/25/2008 - 5/4/2008

“The Printer’s Eye: Ukiyo-e from the Grabhorn Collection”, Asian Art Museum, 2/20/15-5/10/15
Label:

A boat bearing an attractive couple drifts along by the light of a waning moon, in a tongue-in-cheek mitate rendering of a famous episode from The Tale of Genji. The novel relates that in an effort to win the beautiful Ukifune’s affections, Genji’s grandson Niou takes her one wintry day on an excursion to the Isle of Oranges. The Ukifune scene is typically depicted with snow or the orange trees on the island, and Ukifune usually sits upright facing Niou in the boat. Masanobu’s offers instead a more languid scene, in which the Kabuki actor Sanogawa Ichimatsu I, nattily attired in a checked jacket and stylish coiffure, taps a hand drum for a reclining courtesan who rests on one elbow with snacks and sake close at hand. The words of a love song hang in the air:

Yuki ya yuki ya
mi wa ukibune
ni tsumoru koi
Heavy snow,
settling in a drifting boat
my heart is filled with longing

Sanogawa Ichimatsu had recently made his debut on the Edo stage when this print was made, rapidly rising to the status of matinee idol.4 His adoring fans would have enjoyed seeing him thus imagined in a romantic scene from a literary classic.

 


Signature/Seal: Signature: 芳月堂丹鳥齋奥村文角政信画 Hōgetsudō Tanchōsai Okumura Bunkaku Masanobu ga

Artist’s seal: 丹鳥齋 Tanchōsai

Collector’s seal: Edwin Grabhorn


Exhibition History: On rotation in "Designed for Pleasure: The World of Edo Japan in Prints and Paintings, 1680-1860", Asia Society, 2/25/2008 - 5/4/2008

“The Printer’s Eye: Ukiyo-e from the Grabhorn Collection”, Asian Art Museum, 2/20/15-5/10/15