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Melancholy
© Studio Morita / Studio Oz Inc

1000: Melancholy (Haruyo)

The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari) is said to be the world's first novel, written in around 1000 AD, by the Lady Murasaki Shikibu (978-1016). Haruyo has chosen vignettes from the story, to illustrate the opulent fashion of court life in the Heian era.

Yûshû - melancholy. This is Murasaki, Genji's longest, truest love, it seems, reduced to desolation when Genji marries the Third Princess. Why, in an era when it was quite normal to marry several people? Well, though Genji remained emotionally faithful to Murasaki, she was far outranked in the complicated social scale by his new wife, and fell ill, never to recover. Notice how her hair is almost as long as the elaborate kimono she wears; apparently long hair was the principal thing men of the time were attracted by.

Detail

The artist Morita Haruyo studied both Japanese art and kimono design, and she combines these with elements of her own Western-influenced technique. (She travelled to London in 1977, exactly the year I [Brian Chandler] first came to Tokyo.)

Morita is her family name: she follows the tradition of signing - and sealing - paintings with her given name only.

Permanently unavailable
An Epoch puzzle: 1000 pieces; 50 x 75 cm (20" x 30")
Code: E83143 (1000SN-143 on box)
Retail price ¥3000

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