Utagawa Hiroshige THE TALE OF THE BAMBOO CUTTER

THE TALE OF THE BAMBOO CUTTER (Utagawa Hiroshige)

Precious woodblock print of vertical large oban (大判) format made around 1845 by Utagawa Hiroshige (歌川広重) and taken from the “Fifty-three Pairings for the Tokaido Road” (東海道五十三対), an elegant series of prints in which the artist combines fifty-three renowned places with characters and legends of the Japanese tradition. The work presented here is dedicated to the Hara (原) station and to the famous Taketori Monogatari (竹取物語), that is “the tale of the bamboo cutter”.

The aforementioned folktale, also known as Kaguya-hime no Monogatari (かぐや姫の物語), or “the tale of the shining princess”, is considered the oldest extant Japanese prose narrative and tells the story of an old bamboo cutter that found inside a cane a little girl who, once grown, would make even the emperor fall in love but, finally, would go back to her hometown, Tsuki no Miyako (月の都), the capital of the moon.

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