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Aoi (chapter 9) from the album Illustrations for Genji monogatari in Fifty-Four Wood-Cut Prints

Ebina Masao (1913-1980)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Aoi (chapter 9) from the album

Illustrations for Genji monogatari

in Fifty-Four Wood-Cut Prints

by Ebina Masao, c. 1953

Ebina Masao (1913-1980)

IHL Cat. #2450

About This Print

In this scene from chapter 9, Aoi, the ox-carriage of princess Aoi-no-Ue, Genji's first wife, encounters the ox-carriage of her former rival for Prince Genji's affections, LadyRokuj, and a drunken scene erupts. They are both vying to catch a glimpse of Genji who was to take part in the misogi festival. Lady Rokujō bore a great grudge against Aoi and her living spirit would possess Aoi during child-birth, leading to her death.

Source: The Tale of Genji, Lady Murasaki, Dead Authors Society, 2018
There had been too much to drink in both parties, and the drunken ones were not responsive to the efforts of their more mature and collected seniors to restrain them... "They can't tell us who to push and not to push," said the more intemperate ones to their fellows. "They have General Genji to make them feel important."

Among the newcomers were some of Genji's men. They recognized and felt a little sorry for the Rokujo lady... The Rakujo lady, behind the lesser ones, could see almost nothing. Quite aside from her natural distress at the insult, she was filled with the bitterest chagrin that, having refrained from display, she had been recognized. The stools for her carriage shafts had been broken and the shafts propped on the hubs of perfectly strange carriages, a most undignified sight. 

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 #2450
 Title or Description
Aoi 葵
variously translated as Heartvine, Heart-to-Heart, Leaves of Wild Ginger, Hollyhock
 Series Illustrations for Genji monogatari in Fifty-Four Wood-Cut Prints
 木版画源氏五十四帖  Mokuhanga Genji gojūyonjō
 Ebina Masao (1913-1980)
 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)]
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - several spot of foxing top left; light soiling bottom left
 Genre genji-e
 Format ōban
 H x W Paper 8 11/16 x 12 7/16 in. (22.1 x 31.6 cm)
 H x W Image 8 1/4 x 12 1/16 in. (21 x 30.6 cm)
 Collections This Print Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College 2018.1.81; 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:
3/24/2021 created