Modern version of the story of Ushiwakamaru Serenading Joruri-hime - ROM2015_14591_6


Modern version of the story of Ushiwakamaru Serenading Joruri-hime

Maker: Chokosai Eisho (attr.) (1754-1806)
Medium:Woodblock print on paper
Geography: Japan
Date: 1780-1800
Period: Edo period
Hashirae, 61.7 x 11.6 cm
Object number: 926.18.433
Credit Line: Sir Edmund Walker Collection
Not on view
DescriptionThe story of Princess Jōruri and Ushiwakamaru (the name for the young Minamoto no Yoshitsune [1159–1189]) first appeared in the medieval Muromachi period (1392–1568) as a narrative recited by blind minstrels to biwa accompaniment. A written version, Jōruri-hime jūnidan-zōshi (The Tale of Princess Jōruri in Twelve Episodes), is known to exist from the end of the sixteenth century. The term jōruri eventually extended to include a number of texts recited or chanted to simple accompaniment and eventually became closely associated with the puppet theatre. While travelling incognito in the provinces, Ushiwakamaru hears the daughter of a wealthy local performing a concert in her home (her koto is visible in the background), and joins in with his flute from outside her fence, leading the two to fall in love. Princess Jōruri dons the hair ornament of a princess in the kabuki theatre, and wears her hair in a style appropriate to a high-ranking samurai. Her maid’s hair is more appropriate to a woman of the entertainment district. Ushiwakamaru is clearly a wakashu, though his shaved spot is not apparent. Note the long furisode sleeves. The same print in the Harvard collection is attributed to Hosoda Eishi (1756–1829).
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