«We knot these braids in trefoil. As braided threads / May our fates be joined, may we be together always» (あげまきに長き契りを結びこめ / 同じ所に縒りも会はなむ). These are the verses of a poem taken from Genji Monogatari (源氏物語) and which we find in the beginning of the chapter Agemaki (総角), “Trefoil Knots”, to which this elegant woodblock print by the artist Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) is dedicated.
The work, of vertical chuban (中判) format, was printed in February 1854 by the publisher Sanoya Kihei (佐野屋喜兵衛), owner of Kikakudo (喜鶴堂), and it is taken from the series “Color Print Contest of a Modern Genji” (今源氏錦絵合).
The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), despite the right signs of aging visible in particular on the margins, is in good general condition.