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Prince Genji Listening to Insects

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Image of Prince Genji Listening to Insects

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Utagawa Kunisada
Japanese (1786 - 1864) Primary

Prince Genji Listening to Insects

Color woodblock

15 3/4 x 10 1/2 (40.01 cm x 26.67 cm)
Gift of Margery Hoffman Smith, Class of 1911

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: S.69.c
Geography: Asia, Japan
Classification: Fine and Visual Arts; Prints; Woodcuts
Culture/Nationality: Japanese
The Tale of Genji, one of the most important works of Japanese literature, recounts the adventures of Genji, a lover, poet, and ideal eleventh-century courtier. This print, which is the right panel of a triptych, is from a mid-nineteenth-century retelling of the tale written by Ryutei Tanehiko.

Genji sits in a garden listening to the short-lived crickets with his wife, who tells him, "I have long since learned how very cruel a time autumn often brings, yet I would not wish to lose the bell cricket's lovely song," to which he replies, "You may, for yourself, have no wish but to be free of this poor abode, yet your sweet bell cricket song for me will never grow old."

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Prince Genji Listening to Insects |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=1/29/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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