見立紫式部図 Parody of Murasaki Shikibu, Author of The Tale of Genji
Okumura Masanobu (Japanese, 1686–1764)
Edo period (1615–1868)
early 18th century
Monochrome woodblock print; ink on paper
10 3/8 x 14 1/8 in. (26.4 x 35.9 cm)
The Francis Lathrop Collection, Purchase, Frederick C. Hewitt Fund, 1911
Not on view
An Edo-period courtesan enjoys reading a book titled Genji. Her pose and the setting are clearly modeled on the conventional iconography of portraits of one of the most important figures in classical Japanese literature: Murasaki Shikibu (ca. 978–ca. 1014 or 1025), author of The Tale of Genji. Murasaki is said to have secluded herself at Ishiyamadera, a temple on the edge of Lake Biwa, where the view of the moon moved her to conceive of this long, romantic tale.
Signature: Yamato Eshi. Okumura Shinmyo Masanobu.; Seal: Okumura and Masanobu
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "No Ordinary Mortals: The Human Figure in Japanese Art," 2007–2008.