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Shin'yaku Genji monogatari, gekan no ni

Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874-1964)

Japanese Illustrated Book with Color Woodblocks

Shin'yaku Genji Monogatari, gekan no ni

(New Translation of The Tale of Genji,

third volume, part 2)

woodblocks by Nakazawa Hiromitsu

text by Yosano Akiko, 1913

Illustrated Account of the Sino-Japanese War, Volume 7


IHL Cat. #2219


Woodblock Print Illustrations in this Volume

(right to left as they appear in the book in the Japanese style)


inside rear cover of 21 of the 54 the Genji-mon (crests)1

inside front cover of 21 of the 54 Genji-mon (crests)1

frontispiece - curtain and fan
(metallic silver ink used on curtain)


Chapter 51 - 浮舟 Ukifune
(A Boat Cast Adrift)
 
Chapter 50 - 東屋 Azumaya
(A Hut in the Eastern Provinces)
  
Chapter 50 - 東屋 Azumaya
(A Hut in the Eastern Provinces)
Niou sees Ukifune, who has come to live with her half-sister Nakanokimi.


Chapter 53 - 手習 Tenarai
(Practicing Calligraphy)

Chapter 52 - 蜻蛉 Kagerō
(Ephemerids)
  
Chapter 51 - 浮舟 Ukifune
(A Boat Cast Adrift)
Prince Niou takeing Ukifune by boat on a moonlit night across the Uji River to a secret hideaway



Chapter 54 - 浮橋
Yume no ukihashi
(A Floating Bridge in a Dream)
   
Chapter 53 - 手習 Tenarai
(Practicing Calligraphy)


1 Genji-mon (Genji Crests) that were assigned to the Chapters of "The Tale of the Genji" by early Incense Masters for the purpose of playing the incense game "Genji-ko."
                                            

About This Book

Sources: The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature, Michael Emmerich, Columbia University Press, 2013 and as footnoted.

A Miracle in the History of World Art - Genji monogatari!
Reborn into the Taish Literary World - 
Genji monogatari!

At last, the great woman writer Akiko, A MODERN MURASAKI SHIKIBU, has turned Genji monogatari into a masterpiece of a novel IN THE MODERN LANGUAGE capable of being easily appreciated by anyone.

          - from an advertisement appearing on the front page of the
            August 19, 1913 Yomiuri shinbun1

The fourth and last book (part two of the third volume), containing chapters 50 through 54, of Yosano Akiko's 与謝野晶子 (1878-1942) translation into modern colloquial Japanese of Lady Murasaki Shikibu's 紫式部著 (973-1025?), The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari), an account of court life in Heian period Japan, written in the early 11th century. Her translation, originally published in 1912 (the first two volumes) and 1913 (the last two volumes) by Kanao Tanejirō (1879-1947), through his publishing house Kanao Bun'endō, was illustrated with sixty-one woodblock prints (including four frontispieces) designed by the Western-style (yōga) artist Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874-1964).

Yosano, in writing Shin'yaku Genji monogatari, is credited with transforming "Genji [perhaps the world's first novel] into a modern novel, thus making it part of modern Japanese literature."2 For Yosano, Genji had been a passion from an early age as would become her Shin'yaku (new translation). In her afterword appearing in the final volume she wrote:
I was always pushed to the limit by the pressure of my work, both with my family and in my study. During this time I traveled to Europe and I was twice confined; one of these confinements was a difficult birth in which my life was at risk. Nonetheless, sustained by the interest that I have had in the original since I was twelve or so translating the book has been the core of my work for the past three years, and because of my humble efforts, I have been able to complete it earlier than we had initially planned. Looking back at the over-ambitious feat of juggling I have accomplished, I am not without a feeling of relief.3

Beloved Genji: that which lay within the names of its chapters in the spring of this New Year I make my sole companions.
  - Yosano Akiko, January 19204

Michael Emmerich in his book The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature, which explores how Genji became a modern Japanese classic and part of the world's classic literature, states "Akiko created a literary version of Genji monogatari capable of suggesting to ordinary, non-specialist readers of Japanese that, as the scholar Sassa Seisetsu put it, Genji monogatari was 'the unrivaled treasure of our nation and as such, something worth boasting about to all the nations of the world.'"5

The four books that make up Shin'yaku Genji Monogatari

Two forewords to Yosano's translation, which appear in the first volume, were written by author Ueda Bin  上田敏 (1874-1964) and translator and novelist Mori Ōgai 森鴎外 (1862-1922), both close friends of Akiko's and her husband, author and poet Yosano Tekkan 与謝野鉄幹 (1873-1935). Both authors also had works previously published by Kanao Tanejirō.6 

At the high price of three yen per volume*, Yosano's translation sold well even through tough economic times, due not only in its readability, making it accessible to a wide audience, but as Emmerich states, its "cosmopolitan modernity...in the books material form."7 Going on to laud the physical book Emmerich writes:
[I]ts volumes are startlingly heavy, printed on thick torinoko paper with gilded edges; the title is printed in gold on the spines; and, most important, there are Nakazawa's delicately colored, beautifully composed woodblock prints. Covering every surface of all four boxes [each volume was originally sold in its own slipcase], decorating the covers and spines of each volume, and interspersed at fifty-seven points throughout the book, the prints' compositions, delicate pastel palette, and luxuriant landscapes clearly display the artist's engagement with transnational artistic trends such as Art Nouveau, even as they reverence the long history of artistic representations of scenes in Genji monogatari.8
 
* more than a week's wages for a teacher at the time

Nakazawa's illustrations came in for some high praise from none other than French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) when, after receiving the first two volumes from Yosano, expressed his admiration for Nakazawa's illustrations along with his bitter "regret being unable to read Japanese."9 

Commenting on the covers of this first volume, Emmerich states:
It comes as no surprise to find a depiction of Murasaki Shikibu gazing out over Lake Biwa on the cover of volume 1: here, Nakazawa cleaves quite close to convention. The enormous silver moon, the inclusion of red foliage to suggest the season, the shape of the lattice window behind Murasaki Shikibu, and the type of perspective used all point back to earlier precedents. Yet rather than show Murasaki Shikibu seated inside at a long, low table, Nakazawa has her standing in full view on a veranda-and looking, moreover, decidedly, realistically rumpled. This is, in fact, a rather modern Murasaki Shikibu. Unlike most conventional portraits of Murasaki Shikibu, which tend to show her engaged in the act of writing Genji monogatari, Nakazawa depicts her with a book in her hand, reading - a tellingly circular gesture that seems to establish a parallel between Murasaki Shikibu and the reader, almost making it appear that Murasaki Shikibu is inviting her reader to take up their pens and write.10

Shin'yaku Genji Monogatari, jōkan
New Translation of The Tale of Genji, first volume

And, in commenting on the below cover of the last book in the set, part two of the third volume (see IHL Cat. #2219), Emmerich praises, "its sleek, stylized take on the clouds ubiquitous in Japanese art; its brilliant repetition, and reversal, of the two pairs of men (Kaoru and Niou and their attendants); its subdued greens, blue, yellow, red, and gray; and its almost overbearing bamboo..."11

Shin'yaku Genji Monogatari, gekan no ni
New Translation of The Tale of Genji, third volume, part 2 

1 The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature, Michael Emmerich, Columbia University Press, 2013, p. 336-337.
2 Envisioning The Tale of Genji Media, Gender, and Cultural Production, ed. Haruo Shirane, Columbia University Press, p. 7.
3 "Making a Living from Genji: Yosano Akiko and Her Work on The Tale of Genji", G. G. Rowley appearing in The Journal of the Association of Teachers of Japanese , Apr., 1991, Vol. 25, No. 1, Special Issue: Yosano Akiko (1878-1942), American Association of Teachers of Japanese, p. 33-34. https://www.jstor.org/stable/488909
4 "Yosano Akiko's Poems: In Praise of 'The Tale of Genji'", Yosano Akiko and G. G. Rowley appearing in Monumenta Nipponica , Winter, 2001, Vol. 56, No. 4 (Winter, 2001), Sophia University, p. 439. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3096670
5 Emmerich, p. 330-331.
6 Emmerich, p. 338 (Emmerich provides a partial translation of Mori Ōgai's forward.)
7 Emmerich, p. 332.
8 Emmerich, p. 332-333.
9 Emmerich, p. 336.
10 Emmerich, p. 333.
11 Emmerich, p. 333.

The Author/Translator of "The New Translation"
Sources: website of University of Pittsburgh https://www.japanpitt.pitt.edu/glossary/yosano-akiko; Tangled Hair: Selected Tanka from Midaregami Akiko Yosano, Sanford Goldstein, Seishi Shinoda, Cheng & Tsui Company, 2002, p. 5-10; Culture in Criticism: [Music & Poem] "Thou Shalt Not Die" by Akiko Yosano (culture-in-criticism.blogspot.com)
与謝野晶子 (1878-1942)

No one now alive is better suited to translate Genji monogatari than Yosano Akiko
- Ueda Bin (1874-1916), poet and literary critic
Yosano Akiko 与謝野晶子 (1878-1942) is one of the most important literary figures of prewar Japan. Poet, translator and feminist writer, she was born in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture to a well-to-do merchant family that sold red bean paste confections (yōku). She graduated from the Sakai Girls' School in 1892. In 1901 she married poet Yosano Tekkan 与謝野鉄幹 (1873-1935), giving birth to thirteen children between 1902 and 1919, eleven of whom survived into adulthood. With Tekkan she founded the free coeducational school Bunka Gakuin in 1921.

Her first volume of poems, Midaregami (Tangled Hair), 1901, contained nearly 400 tanka poems of passion and sensuality and was enthusiastically received, although literary critics panned her explicit and sexual language. She was at the forefront of defining the "New Woman" in Japan. She was a frequent contributor to the poetry journal Myōjo (Venus) started by Yosano Tekkan in 1900 that ran until 1908.

Other noted works include Shin Man’yōshū (1937-1939), a collection of 22,783 poems by 6,675 contributors which she compiled with nine other leading poets and the first translation of Genji monogatari into modern Japanese.

Known as a pacifist, based upon her poem 
Kimi Shinitamou koto nakare (Thou Shall Not Die), written for her brother during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), she was to go on to support Japan's Pacific War, including the attack on Pearl Harbor.

In May 1940, after completing her second translation of Genji, the six volume Shin-shin'yaku Genji monogatari, Akiko suffered a cerebral hemorrhage leaving her paralyzed for the remainder of her life.

Selected Pages including all woodblock prints

(right to left as they appear in the book in the Japanese style)


 
New Translation of The Tale of Genji, 3rd volume, 2nd part
新訳源氏物語 下巻の二
Shin'yaku Genji monogatari,
gekan no ni


Title page
与謝野晶子
新訳源氏物語  下巻の二
Yosano Akiko
New Translation of The Tale of Genji, 3rd volume, 2nd part
 
frontispiece - curtain and fan
 
inside cover of the Genji-mon (crests)

 
Chapter 50 - 東屋 Azumaya 
(A Hut in the Eastern Provinces)
woodblock print verso and page 1359
(opening page of chapter)
 
Chapter 50 - 東屋 Azumaya 
(A Hut in the Eastern Provinces)
woodblock print, chapter illustration 1
 
Table of Contents
目次


Chapter 51 - 浮舟 Ukifune 
(A Boat Cast Adrift)
woodblock print, chapter illustration 1

Chapter 50 - 東屋 Azumaya 
(A Hut in the Eastern Provinces)
woodblock print verso and page 1439

Chapter 50 - 東屋 Azumaya 
(A Hut in the Eastern Provinces)
woodblock print, chapter illustration 2

 
 Chapter 51 - 浮舟 Ukifune 
(A Boat Cast Adrift)
woodblock print verso and page 1511
 
Chapter 51 - 浮舟 Ukifune
(A Boat Cast Adrift)
woodblock print, chapter illustration 2
 
Chapter 51 - 浮舟 Ukifune
(A Boat Cast Adrift)
woodblock print 1 verso and page 1447
(opening page of chapter)

 
Chapter 53 - 手習 Tenarai 
(Practicing Calligraphy)
woodblock print, chapter illustration 1
 
Chapter 52 - 蜻蛉 Kagerō
(Ephemerids)
woodblock print verso and 
page 1577
(opening page of chapter)
 
Chapter 52-  蜻蛉 Kagerō 
(Ephemerids)
woodblock print, chapter illustration


Chapter 53 手習 Tenarai
(Practicing Calligraphy)
woodblock print, chapter illustration 2 verso and page 1733

Chapter 53 - 手習 Tenarai 
(Practicing Calligraphy)
woodblock print, chapter illustration 2
 
 
Chapter 53 - 手習 Tenarai
(Practicing Calligraphy)
woodblock print verso and 
page 1677
(opening page of chapter)


Shin'yaku Genji monogatari
Afterword, page 1
 新譯源氏物語の後に


Chapter 54 - 浮橋 Yume no ukihashi
(A Floating Bridge in a Dream)
woodblock print, chapter illustration verso and page 1791
(opening page of chapter)
 
Chapter 54 - 浮橋 Yume no ukihashi
(A Floating Bridge in a Dream)
woodblock print, chapter illustration


Afterword, pages 6 and 7
Taisho 12, 10th month
Yosano Akiko
大正二年十月
與謝野晶子
 
Afterword, pages 4 and 5

Afterword, pages 2 and 3


advertisement

 晶子女史沂作書目
[bibliography Miss Akiko]

金尾文淵堂藏版
[editions by Kanao Bun'endō]


 colophon
大正二年十月十一日印刷
[printing: October 31, 1913]
大正二年十一月日發行
[issuance: November 3, 1913]

金參圓
[3 yen]

權所有
[copyright reserved] 

著者 與謝野晶子
[author: Yosano Akiko]

發行者  金尾種次郎
[publisher: Kanao Tanejirō]

印刷者 中村政雄
[printer: Nakamura Masao] 

印刷所 報文社
[printing place Hōbunsha]

發兌元 金尾文淵堂
[publishing house: Kanao Bun'endō]

production credits
 木版 前田剛二 
[woodblock (carving): Maeda Gōji]

木版 長谷川香木
[woodblock (carving): Hasegawa Katsura]

日本印刷 西村熊吉
[woodblock (Japan) printing: Nishimura Kumakichi]

活版 報文社
[typography: Hōbunsha]

 製本 金子督太郎
[bookbinding: Kaneko Tokutarō?]


 inside rear cover of the
Genji-mon (crests)

Book Details

 IHL Catalog  #2219
 Title/Description  New Translation of The Tale of Genji, 3rd volume, part 2
 Shin'yaku Genji monogatari, gekan no ni
 新訳源氏物語 下巻の二
 Artist / Author
 Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874-1964) / Yosano Akiko 与謝野晶子 (1878-1942) / Murasaki Shikibu, b. 978?
 Signature 
 no artist signature
 Seal
 弘 Hiro seal appears on all woodblock illustrations except the frontispiece
 Publication Date  November 3, 1913 大正二年十一月日發行
 Edition  first
 Publisher  發行者 金尾種次郎 publisher Kanao Tanejirō
 
發兌元 金尾文淵堂 publishing house Kanao Bun'endō
 Woodblock printing  Nishimura Kumakichi 西村熊吉
 Woodblock carving  Maeda Gōji 前田剛二 and Hasegawa Katsura 長谷川香木
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - toning of woodblock prints mainly noticeable in margins; binding loose but largely intact
 Miscellaneous
 Genre  illustrated book zuroku 図録
 Format  
 H x W x D Book Closed  8 3/4 x 5 7/8 x 1 5/16 in. (22.2 x 14.9 x 3.3 cm)
 Collections This Book  National Diet Library 945501 Call No. 329-168イ; University of California Berkeley Call No. A43.1 (four volumes)
 Reference Literature  The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature, Michael Emmerich, Columbia University Press, 2013; The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated, John T Carpenter, et. al., Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019
last update:
2/22/2021
10/14/2020
6/8/2020
12/10/2019 created
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