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signed Ichiyosai Toyokuni ga with red Toshidama seal, censor’s seals Yoshimura and Muramatsu, followed by the publisher’s seal Sanoki (Sanoya Kihei of Kikaudo), ca. 1847
oban tate-e 14 1/8 by 10 in., 36 by 25.4 cm
After issuing the 37th design in this series (except no. 47) of 100 poet prints, Kunisada changed the framework of the compositions by eliminating the series title and replacing the poem cards with a cartouche in the shape of an open book illustrating the featured poet and poem. Capitalizing on his recent success as illustrator of the serialized novel by Ryutei Tanehiko, Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji (A Rustic Genji by a Fraudulent Murasaki) which was published from 1829-1842, Kunisada introduced Genji-related motifs to 42 subsequent prints this series and referenced his own designs from the covers of the updated Genji. The composition of this print references the cover illustration of part I in volume 2.
The open book cartouche overlapping a band of genjimon (Genji incense patterns) illustrates a portrait of Minamoto no Toshiyori Ason paired with his poem number 74 from the Hyakunin isshu.
hito wo hatsuse no
hageshikare to ha
inoranu mono wo
‘Make that heartless
one, O mountain storm
of Hatsuse Temple,
crueler still! – this is not
what I prayed for, and yet…
Joshua S. Mostow, The Hundred Poets Compared, 2007, p. 182, no. 74 (poem translation)
Jeff Hopewell, Kunisada 100 Poets Prints Derived from Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji Images, Kunisada.de, 2008
Andreas Marks, Genji’s World in Japanese Woodblock Prints, 2021, pp. 14-15