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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, 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

opening page illustration of 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 - 夢浮橋
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 second volume) of Yosano Akiko's (1878-1942) translation into modern colloquial Japanese of The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari), written by Murasaki Shikibu 紫式部著 in the early 11th century. Her translation, published by Kanao Tanejirō through his publishing house Kanao Bun'endō in 1912 (the first two volumes) and 1913 (the last two volumes) was illustrated with woodblock prints (one or two to each chapter) designed by the Western-style artist Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874-1964). Her book is credited with transforming "Genji into a modern novel, thus making it part of modern Japanese literature."2 In the words of scholar Michael Emmerich, "Akiko created a literary version of Genji mongatari 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.'"3

The four books that make up Shin'yaku Genji Monogatari
top right: 3rd volume, part 1 (下巻の gekan no ichi) 
top left: 3rd volume, part 2 (下巻の二 gekan no ni)
bottom right: 1st volume (上巻 jōkan)
bottom left: 2nd volume (中巻 chūkan)

At the high price of 5 yen per volume Yosano's translation sold well, even through tough economic times, the reason being not only in its readability, making it accessible to a wide audience, but as Emmerich states, its "cosmopolitan modernity...in the books material form as well."4 Going on to laud the physical book he states:
[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.5

In commenting on the cover of this volume, volume 4, 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..."6

In addition to Yosano's translated text, is her afterword to this fourth and last volume in which she discusses her presentation to Auguste Rodin of the first two volumes and his admiration for Nakazawa's illustrations. Two prefaces written by Ueda Bin (1874-1916), poet, literary critic and translator and Mori Ōgai (1862-1922), army officer, poet, author and translator, gave high praise to Yosano and concurred that "no one now alive is better suited to translate Genji monogatari than Yosano Akiko."7

The Author/Translator of "The New Translation"
与謝野晶子 (1878-1942)
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 1894 . In 1901 she married poet Yosano Tekkan and they would have two children. With him 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 (1937-39), 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.

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 Emmerich, p. 331.
4 Emmerich notes they sold for 3 yen (p. 332), but this volume's inset on the last page listing Akiko's works shows a 5 yen price.
5 Emmerich, p. 332-333.
6 Emmerich, p. 332.
7 Emmerich, p. 336.

Selected Pages including all woodblock prints

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



Title page
新訳源氏物語  下巻の二
New Translation of The Tale of Genji, 3rd volume, 2nd part
 
opening woodblock illustration of curtain and fan

 
inside cover of the Genji-mon (crests)

 
Chapter 50 Azumaya 東屋
(A Hut in the Eastern Provinces)
woodblock print verso and 
page 1359 (opening page of chapter 50)
 
 Chapter 50 Azumaya 東屋
(A Hut in the Eastern Provinces)
woodblock print, chapter illustration 1
 
Table of Contents
目次
東屋, p.1359, 浮舟 p.1447, 蜻蛉 p.1577, 手習 p.1677,  夢の浮橋 p. 1791


Chapter 51 Ukifune 浮舟
(A Boat Cast Adrift)
woodblock print, chapter illustration 1
 
Chapter 50 Azumaya 東屋
(A Hut in the Eastern Provinces)
woodblock print verso and page 1439

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

 
Chapter 51 Ukifune 浮舟
(A Boat Cast Adrift)
woodblock print 2 verso and 
page 1511
 
Chapter 51 Ukifune 浮舟
(A Boat Cast Adrift)
woodblock print, chapter illustration 2
 
Chapter 5Ukifune 浮舟
(A Boat Cast Adrift)
woodblock print 1 verso and chapter 51 opening page 1447

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


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

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

 
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?]

 Chapter 54 Yume no ukihashi
夢浮橋 
(A Floating Bridge in a Dream)
woodblock print, chapter illustration 1 verso and page 1791 (opening page of chapter 54)
 
 Chapter 54 Yume no ukihashi
夢浮橋 
(A Floating Bridge in a Dream)
woodblock print, chapter illustration 1

 
inside rear cover of the
Genji-mon (crests)










 
advertisement
 晶子女史沂書作目
金尾文淵堂藏版
Books written by Miss Akiko
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: December 3, 1913]

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]

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 opening woodblock illustration of curtain and fan 
 Publication Date  December 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 Paper  8 3/4 x 5 7/8 in. (22.2 x 14.9 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:
6/8/2020
12/10/2019 created
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