Tale of Genji (with Cabinet)

Tale of Genji (with Cabinet)
Tale of Genji: Calligraphy by Nakanoin
Michishige (1631-1710)
Edo period, dated Enpo 3 (1675)
Set of fifty-four booklets, ink on paper
Cabinet: with gold maki-e design of landscape of Ishiyamadera temple on a black lacquer ground
Edo period, 17th century
Gift of Ii Family

The Tale of Genji by female author Murasaki Shikibu (c. 978 – c. 1014), is widely considered the pinnacle of Japanese classic fiction. Nakanoin Michishige (1631 – 1710), who was a court noble, hand-copied the text in a calligraphic style inherited from his forefathers. The covers decorated with plant and flower motifs, and the makie-decorated cabinet have turned the work into an elegant item of furnishing.

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