Koi Genji

(Genji Love, 恋源氏)

1833

 

This shunga series is based upon The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari), the greatest novel in classical Japanese literature, and arguably, the world’s first novel.  It was written in the first decade of the eleventh century by Lady Murasaki, and relates the womanizing exploits of Prince Genji.  The German dealer, Monika Schmidt, proposes that these prints are egyomi (prints containing information about the long (31 days) and short (30 days) months in a specific year).  The prints in this series are each about 3.5 by 5 inches (9 by 13 centimeters), a size known as koban.

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