Scene from "The Ivy" (Yadorigi), chapter 49 of the Tale of Genji

Artist: Studio of Tawaraya Sōtatsu (Japanese, died ca. 1640)

Period: Edo period (1615–1868)

Date: early 17th century

Culture: Japan

Medium: Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on paper

Dimensions: 10 x 21 3/4 in. (25.4 x 55.2 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Chizuko and Frank Korn, in honor of Miyeko Murase, 2006

Accession Number: 2006.570


This painting is a section of a larger painting, cut from a pair of folding screens that featured scenes from the eleventh-century novel The Tale of Genji. Remounted as a hanging scroll, this scene is from a chapter of the story known as “The Ivy.” Kaoru, the son of the novel’s main character, Genji, lies in bed, a folding screen shielding him from the evening wind in the hills of Uji. By the faint light of an oil lamp, a maidservant piques the young man’s interest with word of a young woman named Ukifune. The bright, thickly applied pigments are considered a hallmark of Sōtatsu’s studio, to which the painting has traditionally been attributed.