Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Exile of Yukihira at Suma

Artist:
Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, 1753?–1806)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
1789
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
9 1/4 x 14 3/5 in. (23.5 x 37.1 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Gift of Estate of Samuel Isham, 1914
Accession Number:
JP969
Not on view
Like his younger brother, Narihira, Yukihira came to be the hero of a romantic legend. By imperial edict, Yukihira was exiled from the capital to the lonely beach at Suma, which was famous as a beautiful spot for viewing the moon. There, the exiled courtier fell in love with Matsukaze and Murasame, two sisters who had fallen from their privileged position as daughters of the provincial governor because of the treachery of their cruel stepmother. On the beach at Suma, they were forced to live like peasants, carting and drying seawater to make salt.

The depicts Yukihira's arrival with two attendants at the place of his exile. Still dressed in his court finery, he stands on the beach, gazing across the inlet at the thatched huts of the salt workers.
Signature: No, but the book is signed: Kitagawa Utamaro sei
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