toiletry set with box, three combs of varying fineness of teeth; small chalice with pine and floral design; and other small containers, all flecked gold with pine tree and floral designs; mirror stand; box decorated with pine trees, carriages, boats, and silver clouds; tray decorated with pine tree

Accessories box with scenes from The Tale of Genji, 17th-18th century

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Genji imagery was particularly common on women’s furnishings like this cosmetics and accessories case. Here, the motifs on the box’s exterior allude to scenes from chapter 14, only they do so without human figures. On the lid, the carriage, shrine gate, and arched bridge collectively suggest Genji’s pilgrimage to Sumiyoshi shrine, while the boat on the front of the box points to the arrival of one of Genji’s former lovers who, by chance, was also on a pilgrimage to Sumiyoshi. These same four elements can be found on many painted illustrations of this scene.

Exhibitions
Details
Title
Accessories box with scenes from The Tale of Genji
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.79.394a-m
Catalogue Raisonne
Murase, Art through a Lifetime, no. 92, 759
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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toiletry set with box, three combs of varying fineness of teeth; small chalice with pine and floral design; and other small containers, all flecked gold with pine tree and floral designs; mirror stand; box decorated with pine trees, carriages, boats, and silver clouds; tray decorated with pine tree