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“Little Purple Gromwell” (Wakamurasaki)

In the style of Tosa Mitsuyoshi Japanese

Not on view

In this scene from Chapter 5, Genji is on his way home from the northern hills, where he has glimpsed the young Murasaki (age 10) and asked the bishop (her great uncle) to let him take the girl. The bishop denies this audacious request, but succumbing to Genji’s radiant beauty, he invites him to play the koto and likens him to the precious udumbara flower of Buddhist lore. The artist depicts Genji leaning nonchalantly on a moss-covered rock, surrounded by red azaleas and a profusion of mountain cherry blossoms.

“Little Purple Gromwell” (Wakamurasaki), In the style of Tosa Mitsuyoshi (Japanese, 1539–1613), Two-panel folding screen; ink, color, gold, and gold leaf on paper, Japan

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