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Zusetsu was founded on a passion for and curiosity about Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto. The rich seam of beauty that is to be discovered in the city may be traced back to the 8th century when Kyoto became the auspicious new home of the Emperor and his court.

 

Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji details life at court, and many of the festivals, traditions, and artisan skills that may be found in this vibrant city today originated in this Heian era.

 

Zusetsu ART celebrates the Kyoto artist Masao Ebina, who naturally turned to the vibrant work of Murasaki Shikibu to complete a series of illustrations for each of the 54 chapters of The Tale of Genji, echoing in his fine art work the style of early Genji manuscript art.

 

Released in 1953, only 200 editions of each deluxe set were created. The Masao Ebina print that we present to you here today is a small part of one of these limited edition sets of illustrations.

 

This print features excellent colour and detail as shown in the photo. There may be slight paper remnants or thinning of the paper at the top edge owing to the original publisher mounting. There may be small spots or slight creases on the paper.

 

The most beautiful aspect of the print is the use of mica - in this print it is used to beautiful effect as silver patterned detail on the hakama trousers of the beloved character, Kaoru, and it also creates the delicate pattern on the juunihitoe robes of Naka no Kimi.

 

The characters and their robes are very finely wrought.

 

Note, also, the symbol in the top right corner from the fragrance game Genjiko, which is a part of the incense ceremony known as kodo, one of the three classical arts of Japan. (You can read more about it here.) In this art work it is printed in silver ink.

 

Yadorigi (Mistletoe) is the 49th chapter of The Tale of Genji. The illustration depicts Kaoru and the sister of his beloved Oigimi, Naka no Kimi at Nijou.

Masao Ebina Print - Yadorigi (Mistletoe)

SKU: ME004
£56.00Price
  • Dimensions :

    • The actual image size is 310mm x 212mm approx.
    • There is a small margin of between 8 and 10mm.

    Condition :

    • The overall condition is good.
    • There are one or two small scuffs of ink from the printing process in the margins.
    • There are one or two faint creases on the print.
    • On the back of the art at the top margin there are paper remnants where the print was once mounted. 
    • There is a red ink maker's stamp on the bottom left of the print.
    • There is beautiful detailed patterning in white cross-hatching on Kaoru's robes, and a lovely detailing in silver inks on the robes of Kaoru and Naka no Kimi. The detail in the faces and the robes is very well drawn.
    • The Genjiko symbol on the top right is printed in silver ink, and there is silver ink detail on the folding screen too.
    • There is a touch of gold ink on the lacquered stand that supports the standing curtain in the foreground.

    Weight : 6 g.

    Woodblock print from Japan.

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