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Hashi-Hime (chapter 45) from the album Illustrations for Genji monogatari in Fifty-Four Wood-Cut Prints

Ebina Masao (1913-1980)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Hashi-Hime (chapter 45) from the album

Illustrations for Genji monogatari

in Fifty-Four Wood-Cut Prints

by Ebina Masao, c. 1953

Ebina Masao (1913-1980)

IHL Cat. #2456

About This Print

In this scene from chapter 45, Hashihime (The Bridge Maiden), the two sisters of prince Hachi-no-miya, Oigimi and Naka-no-kimi, are stealing a glance at Prince Kaoru standing in the moonlight. 

Source: The Tale of Genji, Lady Murasaki, Dead Authors Society, 2018
[Kaoru speaking] "For years I have been fascinated by stories I have heard of their [the princess sisters] playing, and this is my chance. Will there be somewhere that I might hide and listen for a while?"

A gate seemed to lead to the princesses' rooms. Kaoru pushed it open a little. The blind had been half raised to give a view of the moon, more beautiful for the mist. A young girl, tiny and delicate, her soft robe somewhat rumpled, sat shivering at the veranda. With her was an older woman similarly dressed. The princesses were father inside. Half hidden by a pillar, one had a lute before her and sat toying with a plectrum. Just then the moon burst forth in all its brilliance. 

It was a charming scene, utterly unlike what Kaoru had imagined from afar. He had often enough heard the young women of his household reading from old romances. They were always coming upon such scenes, and he had thought them the most unadulterated nonsense. And here, hidden away from the world, was a scene as affecting as any in romance. He was dangerously losing control of himself. The mist had deepened until he could barely make out the figures of the princesses. Summon it forth again, he whispered -- but a woman had come from within to tell them of the caller. The blind was lowered and everyone withdrew to the rear of the house.

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 #2456
 Title or Description
The Bridge Maiden 橋姫 Hashihime
variously translated as The Lady at the Bridge, The Maiden of the Bridge, The Devine Princess at Uji Bridge
 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 excellent
 Genre genji-e
 Format ōban
 H x W Paper 8 13/16 x 12 3/8 in. (22.4 x 31.4 cm)
 H x W Image 8 3/8 x 11 15/16 in. (21.3 x 30.3 cm)
 Collections This Print Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College 2009.1.16; 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); Honolulu Museum of Art 31660
 Reference Literature 
latest revision:
3/25/2021 created