Genji’s World in Japanese Woodblock Prints

The Tale of Genji, written over 1,000 years ago by the Japanese court lady Murasaki Shikibu, has greatly influenced Japanese culture, seen in paintings, prints, short stories, novels, noh plays, kabuki performances, operas, movies, symphonies, manga and anime. Featured in this exhibition are a rich array of woodblock prints by many of Japan’s leading artists, drawn from the Scripps College collection and the personal collection of Jack and Paulette Lantz. The exhibition is accompanied by an elaborately illustrated book, edited by Dr. Andreas Marks and published by Hotei Publishing. The exhibition was organized by Dr. Bruce Coats, Professor of Art History and Humanities, in conjunction with two classes on Japanese arts. The book was funded in part by the Blakemore Foundation, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Union Bank, and the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures.

On October 27, from 4 to 5 p.m., in the Clark Humanities Museum, Dr. Sarah Thompson of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston gave a lecture, entitled, “The Shining Prince on Stage: Inaka Genji in Kabuki Plays and Prints.” An opening reception followed in the Williamson Gallery from 7 to 9 p.m.

After Scripps, the exhibition will travel to four other museums in the United States.

Image: Utagawa Kunisada II; Murasaki Shikibu’s Genji Playing Cards: Ch. 39, Yugiri, 1857; Ink on paper; 13 in. x 9 1/4 in.; Scripps College, Claremont, CA; Gift of Mrs. Frederick S. Bailey