Utagawa Fusatane, Excursions of the Four Seasons, Summer

Utagawa Fusatane, fl. ca. 1854-1897

Excursions of the Four Seasons: Summer
(Genji shiki no yuran: Natsu)

signed Fusatane ga, with publisher's seal Kichi, Ryogoku, Kagaya (Kagaya Kichibei of Seiseido), and carver's seal Hori Mino (Koizumi Minokichi), with combined censor and date seal, Inu-hachi, aratame (year of the dog [1862], 8th month, examined)

oban tate-e triptych 14 1/8 by 28 3/4 in., 35.9 by 72.9 cm

A fanciful view of Mitsuuji, the protagonist of the wildly popular serialized novel which was issued from 1829-42, A Rustic Genji by a Fraudulent Murasaki (Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji) written by Ryutei Tanehiko (1783-1842) which was loosely based on the classic 10th century Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari) by the enigmatic Lady Murasaki. Ever-dashing Mitsuuji is seated on a verandah enjoying the evening cool on a moonlit night while looking out over an iris-lined water's edge. He is, as always, in the company of a grouping of beautiful women and attendants. This print is from a series of four compositions by Fusatane set in the four seasons without a direct reference to an episode from either the original Tale of Genji or the updated Inaka Genji. While the series title here reads Shiki no yuran (Excursions of the Four Seasons), the three other designs in this series have the more complete title of Genji shik no yuran (Genji's Excursions of the Four Seasons).

Andreas Marks, Genji's World in Japanese Woodblock Prints, 2012, Appendix I, p. 260, no. G092.02



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