Kuniyoshi: Ushiwakamaru Serenading Joruri-hime with his Flute

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Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861)
Title: Ushiwakamaru Serenading Joruri-hime with his Flute  牛若丸と浄瑠璃姫
Date: ca. 1843

Ushiwakamaru Serenading Joruri-hime with his flute as she accompanies him from inside on her koto. We see Ushiwakamaru (the future Minamoto no Yoshitsune) in the center sheet, playing his flute outside of the gate of her fine residence. He wears high geta and quite feminine clothes. To his left is an attendant, holding a folding umbrella and looking alertly to his right. This is from the 15th c. love story Joruri junidan soshi (The Tale of Joruri in Twelve Chapters). In this scene Ushiwakamaru hears Jorurui Gozen playing the koto. Hearing no flute, he begins playing his own. Joruri is impressed by his playing, and has her maids invite him in. Here we see three of her maids with lanterns heading for the gate. It is apparently evening, as the full moon is up and we see a flock of geese flying in the sky. Vines clamber over the fence, and the garden of the mansion is beautifully planted. Joruri-hime is actually shown as quite small a figure, leaning over her koto at top right.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Untrimmed and unbacked. A few scattered small voids.
Dimensions: ôban triptych (36.8 x 75 cm)
Publisher: Joshuya Kinzo
Literature: See MFA, Harvard University online collections.. Robinson #T85.
Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga