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Scene from the Tale of Genji

The rigid social structure portrayed in The Tale of Genji is represented in this scene in which the protagonist becomes enthralled by a woman of a different clan. The contrast of the natural elements with the linearity of the architecture mirrors the tension between Genji's true desires and his social responsibilities. The lush natural setting of the pavilion typifies the quarters on the outskirts of Kyoto that the aristocracy inhabited beginning in the Muromanchi period (1392–1573 ).

Catalogue Description:
Scene shows Genji and princess (possibly) caressing on the terrace of a pavilion and garden. Gold clouds waft through the scene. The moon is seen above the clouds to the left of the lovers. The pavilion stands above a stream colored blue. The cherry blossoms are in bloom on trees to the left of the pavilion and somewhat obscured by the clouds. A green hill can be seen rising in the top left. The lady is dressed in layers of kimono. The outer kimono is colored red and decorated with a gold floral design, her black hair streams down her back like a cascading waterfall. Genji is dressed in a brocaded garment which was originally silver but has since oxidized and is black. The landscape elements indicate a Muromachi (16th century) date. The longish face of Genji, rather prominent nose, smallish eyes and mouth form are in the style of Matabei.


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