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The Tale of the Soga Brothers thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

The Tale of the Soga Brothers

Woodblock Print
1843-1847 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This 'uchiwa-e' (rigid fan print) design by Hiroshige is from a series of scenes from classical literature. However, Hiroshige put them into contemporary settings. Here he used the Yoshiwara licensed pleasure quarter in Edo (modern Tokyo) to illustrate an episode from 'The Tale of the Soga Brothers'. The text in the cartouche explains how Kajiwara Genda has fallen in love with the courtesan Kewaizaka no Shosho. He has just deliberately insulted her suitor Soga no Goro Tokimune. Tokimune, intent on avenging the death of his father, suppresses his fury and walks away without rising to the taunt.

Kewaizaka no Shosho is identified by name in the small pink cartouche on the upper left. Hiroshige shows her in gorgeous attire and with a coiffure that,in the 1840s, would have been appropriately old-fashioned for a classical story. You can see Kajiwara Genda shouting from his horse and Tokimune walking away with his head bent low.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleIllustrations of Stories of Ancient Times (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Colour print from woodblocks
Brief Description
Woodblock print, Utagawa Hiroshige I; 'The Tale of the Soga Brothers', from the series 'Illustrations of Stories of Ancient Times'; fan print, Japanese, 1843-1847
Physical Description
Fan print, aiban size. Artist signature: Hiroshige ga. Publisher mark: Tsujiya Yasubei. Censor seal: Kinugasa.
Dimensions
  • Approx. height: 220mm
  • Approx. width: 290mm
Style
Credit line
R. Leicester Harmsworth Gift
Summary
This 'uchiwa-e' (rigid fan print) design by Hiroshige is from a series of scenes from classical literature. However, Hiroshige put them into contemporary settings. Here he used the Yoshiwara licensed pleasure quarter in Edo (modern Tokyo) to illustrate an episode from 'The Tale of the Soga Brothers'. The text in the cartouche explains how Kajiwara Genda has fallen in love with the courtesan Kewaizaka no Shosho. He has just deliberately insulted her suitor Soga no Goro Tokimune. Tokimune, intent on avenging the death of his father, suppresses his fury and walks away without rising to the taunt.



Kewaizaka no Shosho is identified by name in the small pink cartouche on the upper left. Hiroshige shows her in gorgeous attire and with a coiffure that,in the 1840s, would have been appropriately old-fashioned for a classical story. You can see Kajiwara Genda shouting from his horse and Tokimune walking away with his head bent low.
Collection
Accession Number
E.2929-1913

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record createdNovember 20, 2003
Record URL