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Battle of the Carriages (Kuruma arasoi-zu byōbu)


Not on view

The “Battle of the Carriages” occurs in Chapter 9, when Lady Rokujō attempts to glimpse her former lover Genji amid a grand procession for the new Kamo Priestess. Genji appears in all his finery on the right screen, in procession on horseback with a page in attendance. The left screen shows the altercation, which occurs when the attendants of Genji’s wife, Aoi, displace Rokujō’s carriage, blocking her view and breaking her vehicle’s pedestal. Rokujō’s deep humiliation leads her vengeful spirit to attack Aoi just after she has given birth to Genji’s son Yūgiri. These screens closely follow the composition of a famous pair commissioned by Emperor Ōgimachi in 1560, which represent the earliest example of a single Genji episode depicted at such a monumental scale.

Battle of the Carriages (Kuruma arasoi-zu byōbu), Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, and gold on paper, Japan

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