PRINCESS TAMAORI (Utagawa Kuniyoshi)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Period: 1845-46 ca.
Condition: good
Size: 24 x 35,5 cm



Fascinating woodblock print of vertical large oban (大判) format depicting Princess Tamaori (玉織姫) carrying a naginata (薙刀) on the beach at Suma (須磨). In the upper part of the work we read some verses taken from the twelfth chapter of “The Tale of Genji” (源氏物語): «Please remember, / at Suma bay / of the dripping brine, / the woman of Ise who, while crying, / gathers briny sea grass» (うきめかる / いせをのあまを / おもひやれ / もしほたるてふ / すまの浦にて).

The woodcut was made by the artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳) and is taken from the “Ukiyo-e Comparisons of the Cloudy Chapters of Genji” (源氏雲浮世画合), a series depicting stories and legends inspired by the chapters of the masterpiece of Japanese literature written in 11th century by the court lady Murasaki Shikibu (紫式部).

The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), produced around 1845-46 by the publisher Iseya Ichibei (伊勢屋市兵衛), despite the right signs of aging and a slight sign of vertical fold, is in overall good condition thanks also to an effective relining carried out on the back.