Exhibitions

Collection Exhibitions

The Tale of Genji and Edo Culture

November 19 (Sat), 2022 – January 6 (Fri), 2023

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

Features
Features
  1. 1. Introducing Works from the Collection of the Edo-Tokyo Museum
    This exhibition presents paintings and stencils for dyeing kimono fabrics that use motifs taken from The Tale of Genji, all of which belong to the collection of the Edo-Tokyo Museum, (exhibits will change during the course of the exhibition)
  2. 2. The Popularization of The Tale of Genji
    Although originally confined to an audience consisting largely of the nobility and samurai, during the Edo period (1603–1867) The Tale of Genji became popular among the general populace. Books were published that made the story easier to understand and passages from the text were used to create designs for kimono and objets d'art. This exhibition introduces various written materials and objets d'art that were produced as part of Edo period culture.
  3. 3. Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji [False Murasaki and a Country Genji]—A New Story Based on The Tale of Genji
    During the nineteenth century, an adaptation of The Tale of Genji, entitled Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji, became extremely popular and was the subject of numerous colored woodblock prints. These can be recognized by the unconventional hairstyle of the main character, Ashikaga Mitsuuji, who is depicted with a topknot that splits into two at its tip.

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Major works

Major works
  • Kanō Naganobu, Customs Throughout the Twelve Months—Sixth Month: Everlasting Summer, 19th Century, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum (On display: November 19 – December 18, 2022)

  • Kanō Korenobu, Customs Throughout the Twelve Months—Twelfth Month: Snow Behind the Palace, 19th Century, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum (On display: December 20, 2022 – January 6, 2023)

  • Utagawa Toyokuni III, Four Seasons of Genji: Winter, 5th Month, 1858, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum

  • Utagawa Toyokuni III, Utagawa Hiroshige I, The Elegance of Genji: Snowscape, 12th Month, 1853, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum (On display: November 19 – December 18, 2022)

  • Utagawa Toyokuni III, Untitled [Fuji-no-kata Playing a Koto (flat harp)], 1847 – 1852, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum (On display: December 20, 2022 – January 6, 2023)

  • Nagaita-chūgata Stencil—‘Genjikō’ (motifs related to the Tale of Genji) with chrysanthemums, Early 20th Century, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum

  • Nagaita-chūgata Stencil—‘Genjiguruma Wheel’ design, 20th Century, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum

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Information

Information

Period
November 19 (Sat), 2022 – January 6 (Fri), 2023
Venue
Gallery B
Closed
November 21, December 5, 19, 29, 2022 – January 3, 2023
Hours
9:30 – 17:30 (Last admission 17:00)
Days of Extended Hours
November 25, December 2, 9, 16, 23 9:30 – 20:00 (Last admission 19:30)
Admission
Free
Organized by
Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum operated by Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture
Collaboration with
Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum operated by Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture
Telephone Inquiry
TEL:03-3823-6921 (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum)

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