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Genji in Exile at Suma (Suma zu byōbu)


Not on view

A solitary Genji gazes out toward the sea during his exile at Suma. The thatched roof, pine-tree columns, and stone steps convey the rustic quality of his seaside abode, while blossoming cherry trees and the koto by his side connote the elegance of the capital he left behind. Outside, a solitary figure in a raincoat, likely a messenger sent by Murasaki, walks in Genji’s direction; the diagonal shoreline and surging waves create a dynamic connection between the two men. This screen represents a development in which artists depicted episodes from the tale in large-scale ink landscapes, blending Chinese-style painting (kanga) with the gold clouds and gold wash of yamato-e to create a new style.

Genji in Exile at Suma (Suma zu byōbu), Six-panel folding screen; ink, color, gold, and silver on paper, Japan

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