Katsukawa Shun’ei 勝川春英 , Utagawa Toyokuni 歌川豊国, Shibai kinmō zui 戯場訓蒙図彙, 1803

Katsukawa Shun’ei 勝川春(1762-1819), Utagawa Toyokuni 歌川豊国 (1769-1825)

Shikitei Sanba 式亭 三馬 (1776-1822), author

Shibai kinmō zui 戯場訓蒙図彙

Volumes 5-6 (of 8), 2 volumes bound as one

Edo period (1603-1868), 1803

Woodblock printed book; ink on paper

23.9 x 16.1 cm

A comprehensive guide to the backstage world of Edo theater, Shibai kinmō zui attests to the significant role kabuki played in the popular culture as both an independent art form and a stimulus for literary production. Such books about the theater (and especially kabuki)—which modern scholars have broadly labeled as gekisho—take a remarkable variety of forms, from seasonal playbills to annual actor critiques.


An illustrated encyclopedia of the theater, Shibai kinmō zui would have granted readers access to the backstage life of kabuki in book form, its pages replete with images and accounts of the hidden mechanisms through which plays were brought to life. Novel illustrations of stage effects, actors backstage studying their lines, and depictions of props are but a few examples. In the opening shown, Shun’ei and Toyokuni present a range of disembodied hair and beard styles. At the bottom center of the right page, they depict the towering hairstyle to accompany a fearsome hannya mask, used to represent a female demon. On the left page, the prim and proper styles of a variety of female characters are juxtaposed with the hairstyle of an old woman at the bottom right. 

Kikuchi Hisanori, best known by his pen name Shikitei Sanba, is regarded as one of the great writers of kokkeibon, a variant of comedic literature that emerged during the mid to late Edo period. Sanba employed a tongue-in-cheek parody of the conventional encyclopedia to detail everything about kabuki theater. As comprehensive as it is humorous, this novel marriage of form and content also utilized the cultural capital of two eminent artists in the realm of kabuki: Katsukawa Shun’ei and Utagawa Toyokuni. At once a parody, an encyclopedia, and a guidebook to the backstage world of kabuki, Shibai kinmō zui exemplifies how permeable the boundaries between different cultural forms and traditions were in early modern Japan. 


Francesca A. Bolfo

Selected Readings:

Akama, Ryō. Zusetsu Edo no engekisho: Kkabuki hen. Tokyo: Yagi Shoten, 2003.


Gondō, Yoshikazu, Takeshi Moriya, and Isoo Munemasa, eds. Kabuki, Nihon shomin bunka shiryō shūsei. Vol. 6. Tokyo: San’ichi Shobō, 1973.


Leutner, Robert. Shikitei Sanba and the Comic Tradition in Edo Fiction. Harvard-Yenchingld Institute Monograph Series 25. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985.

Toji-awase Oden no kanabumi 綴合於伝仮名書 ca.1879

Broadside showing acts in kabuki play

Broadside showing acts in kabuki play

Artist: Unknown

Title: Toji-awase Oden no kanabumi (The Binding of Oden’s Letters)

Date: ca. 1879

Medium: Woodblock-printed broadside, ink and color on paper

This broadsheet refers to the kabuki play The Binding of Oden’s Letters (Toji-awase Oden no Kanabumi), written by Kawatake Mokuami. The play debuted at the Shintomi-za theater in 1879, and this broadsheet was likely made as a summary to the play. It includes 16 individual panels read from right to left, top to bottom. The first panel in the uppermost right corner identifies the play and its theater, and the 14 before the red square at the bottom left each represent a key scene in the narrative. The red cartouches on the right side of each panel describe the scene and location; above and outside the frame of each panel, within the yellow segment, is a list of roles and associated actors. Dialogue from the scenes is included within panel, and the actor’s costumes display their distinctive crests (mon). This broadsheet may have been made as a guide distributed at the theater or as memorabilia to take home from a performance.

The kabuki play was based on sensational stories about a woman named Takahashi Oden (ca.1848-1879). Oden gained media attention when she was arrested in 1876 under suspicion of cutting the throat of merchant Gotō Kichizō at an inn before fleeing the scene. Oden’s trial spanned nearly 3 years before she was convicted under the Meiji-era justice system. On January 31, 1879, she became one of the last persons in Japan to be officially executed by beheading. The kabuki play based on her story debuted in the Shintomi-za theatre in May of that year.

Comparatively little can be verified about the real Takahashi Oden. Her literary appearances, on the other hand, in gossip serials that appeared in newspapers within days of her death as well as the books and plays that followed, provide a wealth of shifting details about her life. Due to the immediate and sensationalist coverage of her crime, Oden was termed a “poison woman,” by mass media after her alleged poisoning of her sick husband was added to the list of criminal accusations including gross immorality, thievery, and murder. The term “poison woman” or dokufu gained traction in Meiji Japan through publications featuring female criminals (see Marran).

Reporter Kanagaki Robun (1829-1894) wrote The Tale of Demon Takahashi Oden (Takahashi Oden yasha monogatari) in 1879; this has become perhaps the best-studied version of Takahashi Oden. It first appeared in the newspaper Kanayomi as a serial called the The story of poison woman Oden (Dofuku oden no hanashi). The serial began two days after Oden was beheaded and its immediacy likely lent to its popularity. It was later expanded into book form. Robun’s work predates the Kabuki play version of Oden by 3 months.

The script for the kabuki play, Toji-awase Oden no kanabumi, that is the reference for this broadsheet remains extant, available digitally in the database maintained by the National Institute of Japanese Literature. The play was organized with six acts, and the panels in the broadsheet line correspond to that work as follows:

Panel 1: Play title and theater
Panel 2: Opening act
Panels 3 and 4: Second act
Panels 5 and 6: Third act
Panels 7 and 8: Interlude performance featuring material unrelated to Oden
Panel 9: Fourth act
Panel 10: Intermediate act
Panel 11: Fifth act
Panels 12, 13, 14, 15: Sixth act

The play has yet to be translated or analyzed in detail but a great deal of attention appears to be given to detailing Takahashi Oden’s life before and during her husband’s illness. In the broadsheet, some panels depict her being harassed by unsavory fellows alongside what appears to be her husband in worsening condition. In a panel midway, Oden is depicted as distressed aboard a boat, hounded by a ghost-like figure—this is likely her husband after his death. The panels following the intermission scenes may depict Oden cohabiting with another man as well as her involvement in his enterprises. The final panels illustrates the climax of the play. In the 12th panel, Oden is seen luring and killing a man on the second floor of an inn, in the 13th panel she is captured by officials on a bridge, in the 14th panel she is standing trial, and in the 15th panel she is sentenced. A study group at the University of Pennsylvania is currently working on a full transcription of the broadsheet.

Other collections: as yet no other copies have been found

Selected Readings:
Christine L. Marran, Poison Woman: Figuring Female Transgression in Modern Japanese Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 2007).

Ohashi Yoshiteru, Dokufu densetsu Takahashi Oden to Eriito Gunitachi (Kyoei Shoten, 2013).

Matthew C. Strecher, “Who’s Afraid of Takahashi O-Den? ‘Poison Woman’ Stories and Literary Journalism in Early Meiji Japan.” Japanese Language and Literature, vol. 38, no. 1, 2004, pp. 25–55.

Posted by Caitlin Adkins, April 6, 2022

Utagawa Kunisada 歌川国貞, Totoya Hokkei 魚屋北渓, Natsu no Fuji 夏の富士, 1827

Utagawa Kunisada 歌川国貞 (1786-1865), and Totoya Hokkei 魚屋北渓 (1780-1850)

Santō Kyōzan 山東京山 (1769-1858), author

Natsu no Fuji 夏の富士

Volumes 1-2 

Publishers: Tsuruya Kiemon, Yamamoto Heikichi, Nishimuraya Yohachi, Izumiya Ichibē and Moriya Jihē, Edo

Edo period (1603-1868), 1827
Woodblock printed book; ink and color on pap​​er

22 x 15.8 cm


The title of this book, Natsu no Fuji, is a pun on the notion that actors’ faces without white makeup resemble the snowless peak in warm months. This metaphor was used for the first time in Katsukawa Shunshō’s book of a similar title published in 1780; there, Shunshō depicted kabuki actors offstage pursuing a variety of activities at home, going on boat rides, and strolling the streets of the city. Kunisada illustrated this new version of Natsu no Fuji in the late 1820s, almost fifty years later. 

This opening shows famous actors of Kunisada’s time enjoying the cool evening breeze on the Kamo River in Kyoto. Ichikawa Momotarō (Danzō VI, 1800-1871) is depicted standing in the water emptying his pipe, while Seki Sanjūrō II (1786-1839) leans to greet the female entertainer. Bandō Minosuke II (Mitsugorō IV, 1802-1863) and Sawamura Gennosuke II (Sōjūrō V, 1802-1853) are shown looking on from behind. The figure on the left with a sake cup is Nakamura Karoku I (1779-1859), a renowned Osaka actor specializing in female roles (onnagata). Since women were prohibited from performing in theater, their roles were played by men, and these actors can be easily identified by their purple headscarves covering the shaved portion of the adult male hairstyle.


Kabuki was one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the early modern period and its actors were akin to contemporary celebrities. Fans were ready to pay to read stories about their idols and get a glimpse into their private lives. In a commercially driven ukiyo-e world, publishers were eager to supply them with books like Natsu no Fuji. Kunisada was a fitting choice as a designer since he had a close relationship with many of the actors and, like Toyokuni before him, was also famed among his contemporaries for actor likenesses (nigao).


Maria Puzyreva

Selected Readings:

Izzard, Sebastian, J. Thomas Rimer, and John T. Carpenter. Kunisada’s World. New York: Japan Society of America, 1993.


Tinios, Ellis. “Greater than Utamaro: The Fame of Utagawa Kunisada.” Ukiyo-e geijutsu 171 (2016): 95–113.


———. Mirror of the Stage: The Actor Prints of Kunisada. Leeds: University Gallery Leeds, 1996.

Digital facsimile for browsing 

Utagawa Kunisada 歌川国貞, [Kyōka surimonojō 狂歌摺物帖], ca. 1829-30

Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (signed Kochoro Kunisada ga with double toshidama artist’s seal)

Title: [Ichikawa Sanshō kyōka]

Date: ca. 1829-30

Medium: color woodblock-printed illustrated book; folding album (orihon)

Measurements: 14 cm x 21.1 cm

Publisher: private publication

Arthur Tress Collection of Japanese Illustrated Books. Box 10, Item 5: https://franklin.library.upenn.edu/catalog/FRANKLIN_9977502567803681

The dedication page to this delicate folding album announces the contents as a collection of kyōka poetry in honor of the famed kabuki actor, Danjūrō VII (1791-1859). Sebastian Izzard has dated the book to late 1829, produced when Danjūrō was performing at the Nakamuraza theater in Osaka, and suggests the work was sent to him by the poetry group who commissioned it.[1]

Heading off the text are three color prints designed by Kunisada, who also contributed poetry to the volume. The illustrations memorialize Danjūrō’s performance at Nakamuraza, in which he assumed seven roles in the play Date kurabe Okuni Kabuki. The most dramatic moment is depicted across two facing full pages, set against a black ground. Danjūrō is illustrated simultaneously as the heroic Arajishi Otokonosuke (on the right) and the evil Nikko Danjō (on the left). Next, spreading the subsequent opening, the polymorphic actor is rendered as three personages at once: the wrestler Kinugawa Tanizō on the right; the evil priest, Date no Dōtetsu; and finally Ashikaga Yorikane intently watching the action from behind his open fan on the left.[2]

The ensuing poems are printed on heavyweight paper embossed with peonies, and capped by a colophon listing the book’s editors. Many of the approximately 180 poems address and praise Danjūrō or make puns or references to his various roles or nicknames.[3] The soft front and back covers exhibit a motif of purple peony blooms (an emblem of Danjūrō VII) and bats (a symbol of good luck).

Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865) was a prolific print designer in the realm of ukiyo-e. Enchanted by the dynamic kabuki scene in Edo from a young age, the artist began his career as an apprentice in the studio of Utagawa Toyokuni (1769-1825), a pioneer of actor prints. Kunisada quickly made a name for himself, becoming exceedingly popular for his portraits of actors and backstage views. Contributions to the genres of landscapes, beauties, and erotica also comprise the artist’s extensive output. He was often tapped to produce surimono, of which this entry is an impressive example, demonstrating the care and expense associated with private commissions. While extant copies of this particular book are rare, Danjūrō VII was a frequent subject for Kunisada throughout their parallel and symbiotic careers. 

Other copies:

Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “Zō Sanshōshi kyōka.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 22, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-caab-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

A copy of the book’s first illustration and text page survives as a sheet in the collection of The Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna.


Selected reading:

Izzard, Sebastian. Kunisada’s World. New York: Japan Society Inc., 1993. Illustrated in figures 52/1, 52/2, and 52a, 117-119.

Izzard, Sebastian. “A New Actor Painting by Utagawa Kunisada.” Impressions, no. 20 (1998): 78–81. http://www.jstor.org/stable/42598042.


[1]Sebastian Izzard, Kunisada’s World (New York: Japan Society, 1993), 117-118. Izzard notes the poets included are masters from important poetry groups, including: Jingairō, Hōshitei, Umenoya, Fukunoya, Hōraitei Kamenari, Goryūtei Tokunari, and Bumbunsha Kanikomaru.

[2] Izzard, Kunisada’s World, 118. Izzard suggests Kunisada could have based his illustrations on Danjūrō’s performance of the same play in Edo earlier in 1829.

[3] Izzard, Kunisada’s World, 117.

Posted by Zoe Coyle, Fall semester, 2019.

Utagawa Kunisada, Yakusha kijinden 役者畸人伝 , 1833

Utagawa Kunisada, Yakusha kijinden, 1833  

Artist: Utagawa Kunisada 歌川国貞 (1786-1865)

Author: Utei Enba II 烏亭焉馬 (1743-1822)

Title: Yakusha Kijinden 役者畸人伝 

Date: 1833

Medium: Woodblock printed; ink on paper. 

Publisher: Edo: Yamaguchiya Tōbē 山口屋藤兵衛, Nishimuraya Yohachi 西村屋与八, Moriya Jihe 森屋治兵衛

Donor: Presented by Arthur Tress. Arthur Tress Collection, Box 10, Item 9. 


The Yakusha kijinden or ‘Biographies of Eccentric actors’ is a four volume biographic account of four kabuki actors: Ichikawa Ebizō V 五代目市川海老蔵 (1791–1859), Segawa Kikunojō V 五代目瀬川菊之丞 (1802–1832), Sawamura Tosshō I 初代沢村訥升 (1802–1853), and Nakamura Shikan II 二代目中村芝翫 (1798–1852). Compiled by Utei Enba II, the volumes narrate personal anecdotes and praise the lineages and accomplishments of these actors. Kunisada, well-known for his actor prints, shows the actors in this Yakusha-e in roles they were well-known for as well as in roles that would suit them. Each volume contains historical information accompanied by images printed using multiple blocks and atleast three different kinds of ink. 

This illustration shows the actor Nakamura Shikan II as Ishikawa Goemon, a Japanese outlaw hero, gesticulating towards the courtesan Gion no Oritsu, played by Iwai Hanshirō. Kunisada’s signature can be seen on the bottom right.  

Kunisada trained under Utagawa Tokuyuni (1769-1825), producing prints in “traditional” genres such as kabuki, shunga, and historical prints. This 4 volume set is said to be one of Kunisada’s finest. Utei Enba II was a well-known satirist and frequently hosted many theatrical and literary assemblies. 

Other copies:

Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Hiroshima University

Kyoto Prefectural Library and Archives

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

National Diet Library, Tokyo

Nishio City Iwase Bunko, Aichi Prefecture

Osaka City University

Seikadō Bunko Art Museum, Tokyo

Tōhoku University, Sendai

Tokyo University of the Arts

University of Tokyo

Waseda University Theater Museum, Tokyo

Selected Readings:

Hillier, J.  The Art of the Japanese Book. Published for Sotheby’s Publications by Philip Wilson Publishers ; Distributed in the U.S. by Harper & Row London : New York,  1987, 582-3.

Izzard, Sebastian., J. Thomas Rimer, and John T Carpenter. Kunisada’s World. New York: Japan Society, in collaboration with Ukiyo-e Society of America, 1993. 

Tinios, Ellis., and Kunisada Utagawa. Mirror of the Stage: The Actor Prints of Kunisada. Leeds: University Gallery Leeds, 1996


Posted by Ayesha Sheth, October 4, 2019


Utagawa Toyokuni 歌川豊国, Yakusha konotegashiwa 役者此手嘉志和, 1803

Artist: Utagawa Toyokuni歌川豊国

Title:  Yakusha konote gashiwa 役者此手嘉志和

Date: ca. 1803 (享和3)

Medium: Woodblock printed; ink and color on paper; paper covers

Publisher: Maruya Jinpachi (丸屋甚八)(Marujin, Enjudō)

Location: Kislak Center for Special Collections – Arthur Tress Collection. Box 10, Item 2. See link.

Gift of Arthur Tress

Utagawa Toyokuni’s Yakusha konote gashiwa (1803) consists of 2 volumes in which 24 lower and higher ranked actors are represented, and, like actor prints (yakusha-e), offered the possibility to extend the actors’ expression beyond the stage of the theater. Each volume of the picture-book is composed of 6 double-page illustrations, depicting two types of half-length portraits of individual actors: one on the right page reflecting the actor’s onstage character and one on the left page referring to the actor’s everyday appearance. The first volume of the book contains portraits of many kabuki stars, such as Ichikawa Danjūrō VII and Iwai Kumesaburō (Iwai Hanshirō V). In the second volume we find actors such as Segawa Kikunojō III and Ichikawa Hakuen (Ichikawa Danjūrō V).[1]

Including an actor’s two sides—on-stage and off-stage—can be connected to increased public interest in the actor’s likenesses (nigao-e)[2]. In the 1770s, the first recognizable portraits of actors appeared in Japanese actor prints. This went hand in hand with the introduction of half-length close-up portraits of actors in prints, emphasizing their facial features and expressions.[3] The picture-book itself however, does not refer directly to the actor’s individual names and does not contain any more specific information on the actors themselves.[4] Sometimes the actor’s crest alludes to the identity of an actor: for example, on the cover of the volumes we find the actor crest of Ichikawa Danjūrō ()[5]. Since specific information on the actors is not included, the picture-book was probably intended for readers familiar with kabuki culture.

The Japanese artist Utagawa Toyokuni (1769-1825) is primarily known for his actor prints (yakusha-e) of the kabuki theater, particularly for the high level of individualization that these include. Toyokuni was part of the Utagawa school, founded by his teacher, Utagawa Toyoharu. Thanks to Toyokuni, the Utagawa school came to dominate the world of ukiyo-e with their prints of beauties and actors from the late eighteenth-century through the nineteenth-century.[6] Toyokuni’s students included Utagawa Kunisada and Utagawa Kuniyoshi, also featured on this website.

Another impression of this print is in the Pulverer Collection. Other copies can be found in Hōso Bunko (Nagoya), Iwase Bunko (Nishio City, Aichi Prefecture), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), National Diet Library (Tokyo), Tokyo National Museum, and University of Tsukuba Library.

Selected Readings

  • Andrew Gerstle, Akiko Yano, and Timothy Clark, Kabuki heroes on the Osaka stage 1780-1830 (British Museum Press & University of Hawai’i Press, 2005).
  • Hans Bjarne Thomsen et al., Japanische holzschnitte aus der sammlung Ernst Grosse = Japanese woodblock prints from the Ernst Grosse collection (Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2018), p. 149.
  • Higuchi Kazutaka and Alfred Haft, “No Laughing Matter: A Ghastly “Shunga” Illustration by Utagawa Toyokuni, Japan Review (2013), pp. 239-255.
  • Richard Lane, Images from the Floating World: The Japanese Print (Konecky & Konecky, 1978).
  • Ryōko Matsuba and Timothy Clark, “Kabuki Actors in Erotic Books (‘Shunpon’),” Japan Review (2013), pp. 215-237.
  • Suzuki Jūzō 鈴木重三, Yakusha ehon no kōyō「役者絵本の効用, in Ehon to ukiyo-e『増補絵本と浮世絵』 (Tokyo: Perikansha, 2017), p. 522.
  • Timothy Clark, Osamu Ueda, and D. Jenkins. The Actor’s Image: Printmakers of the Katsukawa School (Princeton: Princeton University press, 1994).

Posted by Hilda Groen

October 5, 2019

[1] Yakusha konote gashiwa in Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. http://pulverer.si.edu/node/551/title/1/0, accessed on 19 September 2019.

[2] Matsuba Ryoko, “Kabuki Actors in Erotic Books (Shunpon),” Japan Review (2013), pp. 215–37

[3] Andrew Gerstle, Yano Akiko and Timothy Clark, Kabuki Heroes on the Osaka stage 1780-1830 (British Museum Press & University of Hawaii Press, 2005), p. 41.

[4] Yakusha konote gashiwa. http://pulverer.si.edu/node/551/title/1/0, accessed on 19 September 2019.

[5] Richard Lane, Images from the Floating World: The Japanese Print (Konecky & Konecky, 1978), pp. 205-206.

[6] Kazutaka Higuchi and Alfred Haft, ‘No Laughing Matter: A Ghastly “Shunga” Illustration by Utagawa Toyokuni’, Japan Review (2013), pp. 243-244.

Utagawa Toyokuni 歌川豊国, Yakusha meisho zue 戯子名所図会, 1800



Artist: Utagawa Toyokuni 歌川豊国 (1769-1825)

Author: Takizawa Bakin 滝沢馬琴 (1767-1848)

Title: Yakusha meisho zue 戯子名所図会 (Pictorial Album of Famous Places with Actors)

Date: 1800

Publisher: Tsuruya Kiemon

Medium: Woodblock printed book, ink on paper

Gift of Arthur Tress, Arthur Tress Collection, Box 29, Item 11 (Toyokuni 2)

Imagination and landscape go hand in hand. Though images of places are often more deeply equated with observable reality, these images remain representation, not reality. Created at a specific moment in time, as part of a specific culture, these pictures are deeply bound with the meaning of the place. Some landscapes though are not just imagined, but are the vehicles for imagination. Through Edo period print culture, pictures of place could take on new meaning. In the hands of clever publishers, authors, and illustrators, the popularity of new geographies and topographies led to genre-crossing creations.


Yakusha meisho zue (1800), was the product of some of the top members of the Edo print world—written by Takizawa Bakin (also known as Kyokutei Bakin), illustrated by Utagawa Toyokuni, and published by Tsuruya Kiemon. While the true subject of the work was a clever commentary on contemporary kabuki, it was wrapped in the format of a meisho zue, a format of guide that became popular in the eighteenth century. In doing so, it drew upon a lengthy and celebrated tradition of conceptualizing place, marrying this tradition with the theatrical world of Edo.

In Japan, ideas of place were initially linked to representation in poetry. Locations known as meisho (名所, initially called na ga aru tokoro, “places with a name”) were called out and celebrated in poetry from the eighth century on. The first meisho sites were linked to the emperor’s ritual visitation of the lands of his realm, a practice known as miyuki (御幸). The invocation of these place names in poetry became known as utamakura (歌枕), “poem pillows” epithets that allowed a poem to pivot around layered concepts [Kamens]. These words, used and re-used in poems, acquired connotations over time; by merely invoking the name of a meisho the poet was able to tap into a literary and historical matrix.

The meisho tradition continued into the earliest landscape paintings in Japan, a genre known as meisho-e (名所絵, “pictures of famous places”). First appearing in the tenth century, these paintings derived from poetic conventions, which likewise became linked to the representation of these topographical spaces.[1] Working together, word and image prompted the reader/viewer to produce the imagined landscape.

Over time, though, the definition of what constituted a “meisho” evolved as urban sites and locations along major highways rose in popularity—specifically in the shogun’s capital of Edo. Edo, which had previously been a small fishing village, rose to prominence when it became the shogun’s seat of power. While it lacked in the traditional meisho associated with classical poetry, it soon developed its own famed sites. The Yoshiwara pleasure quarters, popular shops, and travel checkpoints could all become meisho in this new scheme and were included in many printed guidebooks.

[1] No landscape paintings from this era survive to this day. Scholars have relied on descriptions of poetry composed in relation to these images to determine the earliest appearances of these paintings. The earliest extant landscape image is considered to be the Jingōji senzui byōbu, which dates to c. 1200.

Other copies:
Harvard Yenching Library
National Institute of Japanese Literature
Waseda University Library

Selected reading:
Chino Kaori, “The Emergence and Development of Famous Place Painting as a Genre.” Review of Japanese Culture and Society 15 (2003), 40.

Edward Kamens, Utamakura, Allusion, and Intertextuality in Traditional Japanese Poetry (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997).

Quintana Heathman Scherer
Posted April 6, 2022