二品親王女三宮
The Third Princess and Kashiwagi, from Chapter 34, “New Herbs I (Wakana I)” (Nihon shinnō onna sannomiya)

Artist:
Yōshū (Hashimoto) Chikanobu (Japanese, 1838–1912)
Period:
Meiji period (1868–1912)
Date:
1890
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Triptych of polychrome woodblock prints; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
Each 14 1/4 x 9 1/4 in. (36.2 x 23.5 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Gift of Lincoln Kirstein, 1985
Accession Number:
JP3688a–c
Not on view
Like his master, Toyohara Kunichika, Chikanobu is known for genre scenes in the triptych format.

This triptych is related to an episode from Chapter 34, or New Herbs I, in the Tale of Genji, in which the youth Kashiwagi happens to notice a kitten running out from under a bamboo blind. He glimpses the elegant figure of the Third Princess, one of Genji's wives, behind the blind and falls in love with her, to disastrous effect. In this image, Chikanobu has transformed the Third Princess into a monumental image of woman. She is no longer the traditionally mysterious woman cloistered in an interior; she invades the outside world, as if she rules over the three courtiers.
Signature: Yōshu Chikanobu; artist's seal: Chikanobu

Inscription: On the right side: Nihin Shinnō Nyosan no miya (onna sannomiya)

In left corner: Chōkōchō

Printed and published: Meiji 23, 1st month
by Hasegawa Tsunejiro
address: kanda kajichō 5 banchi

Marking:
Lincoln Kirstein , New York (until 1985; donated to MMA).
Ithaca. Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University. "The Tale of Genji: Splendor and Innovation in Edo Culture," March 29, 1997–June 15, 1997.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," July 2, 2005–November 29, 2005.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "No Ordinary Mortals: The Human Figure in Japanese Art," 2007–2008.