Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国)

Print: The Second Month (Kisaragi - 如月) from the series The Twelve Months (Jūnika tsuki no uchi - 十二ヶ月の内)

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Dates: created,1851
Dimensions: 10.0 in,14.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: color woodblock print; ōban

Signed: Toyokuni ga (豊国画)
Publisher: Minatoya Kohei (Marks 332 - seal 24-074)
Censor seals: Mera and Watanabe

Related links: Ukiyoe ni kiku; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Waseda University; Museums of Scotland; Cultural Heritage Online; Postal Museum Japan;

Physical description:

The curatorial files of the Edinburgh Library notes about this print:

A scene from 'Rustic Genji' ('Inaka Genji'), which tells the story of Prince Mitsuuji in the search for his stolen sword, Kogarasumaru. In this violent scene, on a spring night with the cherry trees in bloom, Mitsuuji holds down a brigand dressed in black and beats him repeatedly. A young woman, clutching a letter between her teeth has been caught up in the struggle.

Kisaragi refers to the 2nd month, with the ancient name known as "the month of wearing extra layers of clothes."

The genji-mon design behind the print title could be for the "Makibashira" chapter, the genji symbol designate for chapter 31 of the Tale of Genji [Genji monogatari] 11th-century novel, "The Handsome Pillar," which relates the adventures of a poem tucked behind a house pillar/support.


Illustrated in a small black and white reproduction in the Illustrated Catalogues of Tokyo National Museum: Ukiyo-e Prints (3), #2939.