The Lovers Miura-ya Komurasaki and Shirai Gonpachi.

Kitagawa Utamaro Japanese

Not on view

Tragic love stories taken from real life and dramatized were a staple of stage and print; the darkly romantic combination of desire and death was hugely popular in the eighteenth century. Hirai Gompachi was a warrior of the Tottori fief in western Japan who fled to Edo after committing a murder. He was apprehended and sentenced to death in 1679. His distraught lover, the courtesan Komurasaki, committed suicide at his grave.

The Lovers Miura-ya Komurasaki and Shirai Gonpachi., Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, ca. 1754–1806), Woodblock print; ink and color on paper, Japan

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