3 results
Heian Period Tale of the Nightingale in the Plum Tree
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. This print by Kitao Shigemasa (1739–1820) illustrates an 11th-century tale ...
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Library of Congress
The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
This 17th-century scroll recounts the story of Taketori Monogatari (The tale of the bamboo cutter), famous as the earliest piece of prose fiction in the Japanese literary tradition and originally written around the 10th century. In the scroll, flowers are drawn on the paper of the main text. The main preoccupation of the story is Kaguyahime, discovered as a tiny infant inside a mysteriously glowing bamboo stem by an elderly bamboo cutter. He and his wife raise her as their daughter, and Kaguyahime quickly becomes a beautiful young woman, a ...
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National Diet Library
Daietsu
Daietsu is a story with a happy ending, in which an affectionate and dutiful son, Daietsu-no-suke, becomes a rich man blessed with many descendants by the grace of Kiyomizu Kannon (the goddess of mercy) and Daikokuten and Ebisu (the gods of wealth). The story dates from the 16th century, but this pair of picture scrolls appears to have been painted in the 18th century by Sumiyoshi Hiromori (1705–77), an artist of the Sumiyoshi school. The scrolls are gorgeously colored and richly adorned with gold leaf on a traditional high-quality ...
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National Diet Library