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The Gossamer-Fly (chapter 52) from the album Illustrations for Genji monogatari in Fifty-Four Wood-Cut Prints

Ebina Masao (1913-1980)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

The Gossamer-Fly (chapter 52)

from the album

Illustrations for Genji monogatari

in Fifty-Four Wood-Cut Prints

by Ebina Masao, c. 1953

Ebina Masao (1913-1980)

IHL Cat. #2520

About This Print

In this scene from chapter 52, The Gossamer-Fly, the twenty-seven year old Kaoru-no-kimi weeps over his sad fate and the believed suicide of Ukifune.

Source:  Genji gojūshijō 源氏五十四帖, published by Shin Kōbe Shinbunsha, 1974.
The autumn advanced. Niou-Hybukyō-no-Miya was now making love as frivolously as ever, as if he had cleanly forgotten his grief over the [believed] death of Ukifune. On the other hand, from the mind of Kaoru-no-Kimi, the gloom did not pass away, although he would say funny things to court-ladies now and again, or went to see Onna-ichi-no-Miya, when occasion arose. Of a late autumn evening, when he gazed at the gossamer-flies flying to and fro, he sadly compared the feeble fragile insects to Ō-Kimi and Ukifune of Uji, who had died so miserably. In his eyes, warm tears would well up when he thought over the sad fates of his friends and acquaintances.

This collection's print maintains its original explanation overlay (shown below) and matting.

Explanation Overlay for IHL Cat. #2520
click on image to enlarge

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 #2520
 Title or Description
The Gossamer-Fly 蜻蛉 Kagerō
variously translated as The Drake Fly, The May Fly, Ephemerids
 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 (with mat and overlay): 10 3/16 x 13 3/4 in. (25.9 x 34.9 cm)
 (print only): 9 3/16 x 12 11/16 in. (23.5 x 32.5 cm)
 H x W Image 8 3/16 x 11 7/8 (20.8 x 30.2 cm)
 Collections This Print Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College 2009.1.48; 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:
6/22/2021 created