As a result of the development of printing techniques, The Tale of Genji, which was written by Murasaki Shikibu in the early 11th century, became widely known among the masses during the Edo period (1603–1867). So great was its popularity that a wide variety of publications relating to it were produced; in addition to the original text, there were also illustrated books, annotated editions and simplified summaries offering an understanding of the story. This led to The Tale of Genji achieving a unique development within Edo culture, as can be seen from the popularity of Ryūtei Tanehiko’s parody of the story, Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji [False Murasaki and a Country Genji] that was illustrated by Utagawa Kunisada I. In addition, beautiful depictions of the four seasons that appear in the story were utilized to decorate formal places or personal belongings.
Based around works from the collection of the Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum, this exhibition offers a glimpse of the way in which The Tale of Genji developed and spread within the culture of the Edo period.
Exhibits will be changed during the course of this exhibition.
First Period: November 19 (Sat), 2022 – December 18 (Sun), 2022
Second Period: December 20 (Tue), 2022 – January 6 (Fri), 2023