Detailed Depictions of Tale of Genji's ScenesExhibition at Ishiyama-dera Temple19 September 2013 - Temples/Shrines
The exhibition "Emaki to Genji-e no Detail," or details of scroll paintings and pictures of the Tale of Genji, is being held at Ishiyama-dera Temple, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture. The exhibition focuses on detailed depictions of "Genji-e," or pictures featuring scenes from the Tale of Genji.
Every spring and autumn, Ishiyama-dera Temple displays its collection related to the Tale of Genji and its author Murasaki Shikibu, as it is said that she visited the temple and developed the plot for it there.
This time the exhibition considers how painters in later generations rendered "small things" that Murasaki Shikibu incorporated into the tale, such as various utensils, plants and animals. Ms. Takeshita, who is in charge of the exhibition, explained the aim, "Shikibu effectively describes 'small things' here and there to make readers empathize or to use them effectively as a key to develop the story. We would like people to appreciate the value and appeal of those small things."
It is said that "Genji Monogatari Gacho," or art book of the Tale of Genji, was painted by Mitsunori Tosa, an Edo Period painter, using a magnifying glass. Branches of cherry and Japanese yellow rose, in the hands of girls dancing in the garden is depicted with fineness invisible to the naked eye.
"Genji Monogatari-zu Byobu," or folding screen with pictures from the Tales of Genji, also made in the Edo Period, depicts two cats in a scene from the first half of the volume titled "Wakana," where Kashiwagi peeped at Onna San no Miya. This picture is understood to be an accurate representation of the original description.
In addition, this exhibition has the subtheme "Ishiyama-dera to Seta-no-karahashi," or Ishiyama-dera Temple and Seta-no-karahashi Bridge. Exhibited are a collection of documents which reveal a deep connection between the temple and the bridge, including the Edo Period copy of the third scene of the fifth volume of the picture scroll, "Ishiyama-dera Engi Emaki," which is the supposedly oldest picture of the bridge, and a draft of "Ishiyama-dera Bunsho Funshitsu-jo," a document copy from the Period of the Northern and Southern Courts, which reports the loss of the temple archive when the temple was involved into the battle between the Imperial army and Takauji Ashikaga around the bridge in 1335.
The exhibit also includes "Basho Jiga Sanku," in which Basho Matsuo writes about his visit to the bridge and the temple, and pictures that are found predominantly in the Edo Period and later, such as "Mitate Murasaki Shikibu-zu" which depicts Murasaki Shikibu, the temple and the bridge within the same scene.
The exhibition continues until November 30. The admission fee is 200 yen for junior high school students and older, and 100 yen for elementary school students. There is separate entrance fee for the temple. For more information, call Ishiyama-dera Temple at 077-537-0013.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)