Collection

Handcopied Set of The Tale of Genji (with Cabinet)

Handcopied Set of The Tale of Genji (with Cabinet)
Ink on paper; height 16.7 cm each, width 17.2 cm each; Edo period, dated Enpō 3 (1675); Gift of the Ii Family

The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu (c. 978–c. 1014) is among the most famous works of classical Japanese literature. Nakanoin Michishige (1631–1710), a leading figure among poets at the court in Kyoto, hand-copied the text in a calligraphic style inherited mainly from his grandfather Michimura. He began copying a version of the original text passed down in his family in 1673 and finished in 1675. Covers decorated with plant and flower motifs and a cabinet decorated with maki-e make the entire set an elegant work of art.

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