Azumaya 東屋
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Lit. Eastern cottage. A pictorial subject based on "The Eastern Cottage" Azumaya, Chapter 50 of GENJII MONOGATARI 源氏物語 (The Tale of Genji). Main characters in the chapter are: Kaoru 薫 (who is Genji's purported son, but in truth was fathered by Kashiwagi 柏木), Prince Niou *Niou no Miya 匂宮, *Ukifune 浮舟, her mother from Hitachi 常陸 (modern Ibaraki prefecture), and Ukifune's half-sister Naka no kimi 中君, who is the wife of Niou. In the chapter, Ukifune and her mother go to the house of Naka no kimi. Ukifune attracts Niou's attention and he attempts to seduce her. Her mother takes her away, first to a small villa (poetically referred to as an Eastern cottage) at Sanjou 三条, then back to Uji 宇治, where Kaoru finds her and takes her to his own villa. Scenes often chosen for illustration include: 1) On an autumn morning, Ukifune's mother watches Niou playing with his young son before leaving for court; 2) Ukifune and Naka no kimi look at illustrated romances, e-monogatari 絵物語, while Ukon 右近, a lady-in-waiting, reads the accompanying text outloud; and 3) Kaoru visits Ukifune at the small villa in Sanjou, where he hears peddlers at dawn walking about with their wares balanced on the tops of their heads. While waiting there, Kaoru refers to an Eastern cottage azumaya in a poem. Scenes two and three are found in illustrations to the 12c masterpiece owned by the Tokugawa 徳川 Art Museum.

*genji-e 源氏絵 

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