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Picture Competition (chapter 17) from the album Illustrations for Genji monogatari in Fifty-Four Wood-Cut Prints

Ebina Masao (1913-1980)
 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Picture Competition (chapter 17) from the album

Illustrations for Genji monogatari

in Fifty-Four Wood-Cut Prints

by Ebina Masao, c. 1953

Ebina Masao (1913-1980)


IHL Cat. #2497

About This Print

In this scene from chapter 17, Court Ladies Saigū and Kokiden compete with each other in a display of painting skills. 

Source:  Genji gojūshijō 源氏五十四帖, published by Shin Kōbe Shinbunsha, 1974.
About March 10, when the wintry cold was on the wane, lady's maids both under Kokiden and Saigū held a party of picture competition in the presence of the Emperor. Fujitsubo presided over the party as a judge. Neither side, however, came out victorious.

About twenty days later, the party met again. Prince Sochi - the son of the former Emperor Kiritsubo and the brother of the present Emperor - worked as a judge this time. The competition continued undecided for a long time. The maids under Siagū finally took out an illustrated diary written by Prince Genji while he was on exile at Suma. This brought them a victory. The judge commented this way: "Without concentration no great talent can achieve much..."

For an excellent introduction to The Tale of Genji see Penguin's "Short Summary of the Tale" at https://www.penguin.com/static/packages/us/taleofgenji/introduction3.php


About The Album


Print Details

 IHL Catalog #2497
 Title or Description
Picture Competition  絵合 Awase
variously translated as The Picture Competition; A Picture Contest; The Picture Contest; A Contest of Illustrations
 Series Illustrations for Genji monogatari in Fifty-Four Wood-Cut Prints
 木版画源氏五十四帖  Mokuhanga Genji gojūyonjō
 Artist
 Ebina Masao (1913-1980)
 Signature
 not signed
 Seal正夫 Masao
 Publication Date 1953 or after (originally issued 1953; multiple editions are known)
 Publisher Yamada Shoin 山田書院
 Carver carving supervised by Yoshio Kawamo [Kawatsura Yoshio 川面義雄 (1880-1963)]
 Printer 
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent
 Genre genji-e
 Miscellaneous
 Format ōban
 H x W Paper 8 3/4 x 12 7/16 in. (22.2 x 31.6 cm)
 H x W Image 8 5/16 x 11 15/16 in. (21.1 x 30.3 cm)
 Collections This Print Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College 2006.1.19; University of Kansas Libraries KU Bib ID: 4123242 (entire portfolio; images not shown); National Diet Library Call Number 913.36-E17g-K (entire portfolio dated 1958; images not shown)
 Reference Literature 
latest revision:
5/30/2021 created
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