Shiigamoto 椎本
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
A pictorial subject taken from "Beneath the Oak" Shiigamoto, Chapter 46 of GENJI MONOGATARI 源氏物語 (The Tale of Genji). Kaoru 薫 is in love with Ooigimi 大君, the eldest daughter of the Eighth Prince (Hachi no miya 八宮, see *Hashihime 橋姫). Shortly before his death, the Eighth Prince entrusts his daughters to Kaoru. Kaoru declares his love for Ooigimi but she continues to reject him. Scenes chosen for illustration include: 1) During Niou's *Niou no miya 匂宮 trip to Uji 宇治 on the twentieth day of the Second Month with a large retinue. There is gaming and drinking on the banks of the Uji river with blooming mountain cherries. Niou dispatches an elegantly attired page boy with a letter to Naka no kimi 中の君. He is shown in a boat accompanied by musicians. 2) After a winter snow and the death of the prince, Kaoru leans against a pillar in the prince's chapel and recites the poem from which the chapter takes its name, with several young maids peering at him from behind the screens. 3) In summer, Kaoru peers through a hole in the partition to see Ooigimi and her sister withdrawing from the chapel and retiring to their rooms.

*genji-e 源氏絵 

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