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Six scenes from ‘The Tale of Genji’



Tosa School


Alternate image of Six scenes from ‘The Tale of Genji’ by Tosa School
Alternate image of Six scenes from ‘The Tale of Genji’ by Tosa School
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Media categories
    Screen , Painting
    Materials used
    pair of six-panel screens (byobu); ink, colour, gold and 'gofun' on paper

    a - right screen - boating party at lower left, 109 x 289 cm

    b - left screen - cart in lower left corner, 109 x 289 cm

    Gift of Lesley Kehoe 2009. Donated through the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program.
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Tosa School

    Works in the collection


  • About

    The scenes in these screens are read from right to left and begin with an episode from Chapter 6 in the 'Tale of Genji', when Prince Genji steals into the mansion of Princess Suetsumuhana and listens to her playing the Japanese zither called koto. The central vignette represents Chapter 21. It shows the page girl sent by Empress Akikonomu carrying a box of autumn leaves and poem for Murasaki, Genji's main consort. The final scene depicts Genji peering over a brush fence at the young Murasaki, a common motif to illustrate Chapter 5.

    The first scene in the left screen represents Chapter 23 and shows Genji paying his New Year’s visit to the Akashi lady in her elegantly appointed quarters. The vignette at the centre refers to Chapter 3. It portrays two young women playing the board game of go, unaware that they are being watched by Genji. The last two panels on the right border show Genji's son Kaoru courting the ladies of Uji; this refers to developments in Chapter 46.

    Asian Art Department, AGNSW, September 2011

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Tosa School