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Shin'yaku Genji monogatari, jōkan

Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874-1964)

Japanese Illustrated Book with Color Woodblocks

Shin'yaku Genji Monogatari, jōkan

(New Translation of The Tale of Genji,

first volume)

woodblocks by Nakazawa Hiromitsu

text by Yosano Akiko, 1913 (first edition 1912)

Illustrated Account of the Sino-Japanese War, Volume 7


cover

slipcover

IHL Cat. #2288
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 - tree of life

Chapter 3 - 空蝉 Utsusemi
(The Shell of the Locust)
Chapter 2 - 帚木 Hahakigi
(The Broom-Tree)
Chapter 1 - 桐壺 Kiritsubo
(The Paulownia Court)

Chapter 6 - 末摘花 Suetsumuhana
(The Safflower)
Prince Genji stands behind
Princess Suetsumahana.
Chapter 5 -  若紫 Wakamurasaki
(Lavender)
Chapter 4 - 夕顔 Yūgao
(Evening Faces)

Chapter 9 - 葵 Aoi
(Heartvine)
At Ise Shrine, the carriage of Genji's wife pushes aside the carriage of the Rokujo lady, Genji's former lover.
Chapter 8 - 花宴 Hana no En
(The Festival of the Cherry Blossoms)
 Chapter 7 - 紅葉賀 Momiji no Ga
(An Autumn Excursion)
Genji and To no Chujo dancing
“Waves of the Blue Ocean”.

Chapter 12 - 須磨 Suma
(Suma)
Chapter 11 - 花散里 Hana Chiru Sato
(The Orange Blossoms)
Chapter 10 - 榊 Sakaki
(The Sacred Tree)

Chapter 15 - 蓬生 Yomogiu
(The Wormwood Patch)
Chapter 14 - 澪標 Miotsukushi
(Channel Buoys)
Chapter 13 -  明石 Akashi
(Akashi)

Chapter 18 - 松風 Matsukaze
(The Wind in the Pines)
Genji's wife sits with her daughter and mother.
Chapter 17 -  絵合 E Awase
(A Picture Contest)
Chapter 16 - 関屋 Sekiya
(The Gatehouse)


Chapter 21 -
 乙女 Otome
(The Maiden)
Chapter 20 - 槿
 Asagao
(Asago)
Genji and Lady Muarasaki watch servants make snow balls.
Chapter 19 - 薄雲 Usugumo
(A Rack of Clouds)




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 first of four volumes, containing chapters 1 through 21, 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
click on links above to go to volume details

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, 1st volume
新訳源氏物語 上巻
Shin'yaku Genji monogatari,
jōkan

 
Title page
与謝野晶子
譯 げんじものがたり 上巻
Yosano Akiko
Shin'yaku Genji monogatari, jōkan
New Translation of The Tale of Genji, 1st volume
 
frontispiece - tree of life

inside cover of the Genji-mon (crests)
 

 
Chapter 1 - 桐壺 Kiritsubo
(The Paulownia Court)
woodblock print, chapter illustration
 
Table of Contents
目次
 
Table of Contents
目次

 
Chapter 2 - 帚木 Hahakigi
(The Broom-Tree)
woodblock print verso and page 21 
(opening page of chapter)
 
Chapter 2 - 帚木 Hahakigi
(The Broom-Tree)
woodblock print, chapter illustration
 
Chapter 1 - 桐壺 Kiritsubo
(The Paulownia Court)
woodblock print verso and page 1 
(opening page of chapter)

 
Chapter 4 - 夕顔 Yūgao
(Evening Faces)
woodblock print, chapter illustration

Chapter 3 - 空蝉 Utsusemi
(The Shell of the Locust)
woodblock print verso and page 53 
(opening page of chapter)
 
Chapter 3 - 空蝉 Utsusemi
(The Shell of the Locust)
woodblock print, chapter illustration


Chapter 5 -  若紫 Wakamurasaki
(Lavender)
woodblock print verso and page 97 
(opening page of chapter)

Chapter 5 -  若紫 Wakamurasaki
(Lavender)
woodblock print, chapter illustration

Chapter 4 - 夕顔 Yūgao
(Evening Faces)
woodblock print verso and page 63 
(opening page of chapter)


Chapter 7 - 紅葉賀 Momiji no Ga
(An Autumn Excursion)
woodblock print, chapter illustration

Chapter 6 - 末摘花 Suetsumuhana
(The Safflower)
woodblock print verso and page 129 
(opening page of chapter)

Chapter 6 - 末摘花 Suetsumuhana
(The Safflower)
woodblock print, chapter illustration


Chapter 8 - 花宴 Hana no En
(The Festival of the Cherry Blossoms)
woodblock print verso and page 161 
(opening page of chapter)

Chapter 8 - 花宴 Hana no En
(The Festival of the Cherry Blossoms)
woodblock print, chapter illustration

Chapter 7 - 紅葉賀 Momiji no Ga
(An Autumn Excursion)
woodblock print verso and page 147 
(opening page of chapter)


Chapter 10 - 榊 Sakaki
(The Sacred Tree)
woodblock print, chapter illustration

Chapter 9 - 葵 Aoi
(Heartvine)
woodblock print verso and page 169 
(opening page of chapter)

Chapter 9 - 葵 Aoi
(Heartvine)
woodblock print, chapter illustration


Chapter 11 - 花散里 Hana Chiru Sato(The Orange Blossoms)
woodblock print verso and page 227
(opening page of chapter)

Chapter 11 - 花散里 Hana Chiru Sato(The Orange Blossoms)
woodblock print, chapter illustration


Chapter 10 - 榊 Sakaki
(The Sacred Tree)
woodblock print verso and page 199 
(opening page of chapter)


Chapter 13 -  明石 Akashi
(Akashi)
woodblock print, chapter illustration
 
Chapter 12 - 須磨 Suma
(Suma)
woodblock print verso and page 231
(opening page of chapter)
 
Chapter 12 - 須磨 Suma
(Suma)
woodblock print, chapter illustration


Chapter 14 - 澪標 Miotsukushi
(Channel Buoys)
woodblock print verso and page 287
(opening page of chapter)

Chapter 14 - 澪標 Miotsukushi
(Channel Buoys)
woodblock print, chapter illustration

Chapter 13 -  明石 Akashi
(Akashi)
woodblock print verso and page 231
(opening page of chapter)


Chapter 16 - 関屋 Sekiya
(The Gatehouse)
woodblock print, chapter illustration

Chapter 15 - 蓬生 Yomogiu
(The Wormwood Patch)
woodblock print verso and page 311
(opening page of chapter)

Chapter 15 - 蓬生 Yomogiu
(The Wormwood Patch)
woodblock print, chapter illustration

 
Chapter 17 -  絵合 E Awase
(A Picture Contest)
woodblock print verso and page 339
(opening page of chapter)
 
Chapter 17 -  絵合 E Awase
(A Picture Contest)
woodblock print, chapter illustration

Chapter 16 - 関屋 Sekiya
(The Gatehouse)
woodblock print verso and page 333
(opening page of chapter)


Chapter 19 - 薄雲 Usugumo
(A Rack of Clouds)
woodblock print, chapter illustration

Chapter 18 - 松風 Matsukaze
(The Wind in the Pines)
woodblock print verso and page 351
(opening page of chapter)

Chapter 18 - 松風 Matsukaze
(The Wind in the Pines)
woodblock print, chapter illustration


Chapter 20 - 槿 Asagao
(Asago)
woodblock print verso and page 403
(opening page of chapter)

Chapter 20 - 槿 Asagao
(Asago)
woodblock print, chapter illustration

Chapter 19 - 薄雲 Usugumo
(A Rack of Clouds)
woodblock print verso and page 375
(opening page of chapter)

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

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

同 井上鎭平
[woodblock (carving): unread

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

活版 秀英舍
[typography: Shūeisha (type foundry)]

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

 Chapter 21 - 乙女 Otome
(The Maiden)
woodblock print verso and page 423
(opening page of chapter)

 Chapter 21 - 乙女 Otome
(The Maiden)
woodblock print, chapter illustration




 inside rear cover of the
Genji-mon (crests)
 
advertisement
 晶子女史沂
書目
[Bibliography Miss Akiko]

金尾文淵堂藏版
[Editions by Kanao Bun'endō]
 
colophon
 明治四十四年廿印刷
[Printing: February 15, 1912]
 明治四十四年廿發行
[Issuance: February 21, 1912]
 大正二年十一月十一日第十版
[10th edition: November 11, 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 佐久間衡治
[printer: Sakuma Kōji] 

印刷所 株式会社 秀英舍
[printing place: Shūeisha
joint stock company]


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


Book Details

 IHL Catalog  #2288
 Title or Description  New Translation of The Tale of Genji, 1st Volume
 Shin'yaku Genji monogatari, jōkan
 新訳源氏物語 上巻
 Artist
 Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874-1964)
 Authors: Yosano Akiko 与謝野晶子 (1878-1942) and Murasaki Shikibu, b. 978?
 Signature 
 no artist signature
 Seal
 弘 Hiro seal appears on all woodblock illustrations except the frontispiece
 Publication Date  first edition: February 21, 1912 明治四十四年廿發行
 this collection's 10th edition: November 11, 1913 大正二年十一月十一日第十版
 Edition  tenth
 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
 Carver Hasegawa Katsura 長谷川香木, Maeda Gōji 前田剛二, 井上鎭平 (unread)
 Printer  Nishimura Kumakichi 西村熊吉 (woodblock prints only)
 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  H x W x D Book Closed: 8 7/8 x 5 7/8 x 1 5/16 in. (22.5 x 14.9 x 3.3 cm)
 Collections  National Diet Library 945501 Call No. 329-168イ; University of California Berkeley Call No. A43.1 (four volumes); The British Museum Volume 1 1991,1112,0.205.1 and Volume 2 1991,1112,0.205.2
 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:
3/18/2021
2/16/2021 created
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