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The Tale of Genji: Muromachi Genji Kocho-no-Maki 室町源氏胡蝶巻, 1871


These are rare—aesthetically stunning—Meiji-period woodblock print illustrated bound-pocket books (or fukuro toji 袋綴じ) of The Tale of Genji: Muromachi Genji Kocho-no-Maki (Volume 22), drawn by the master of ukiyo-e (浮世絵) , Utagawa Kunisada 歌川国貞 (1823–1880), and rescripted by the late Edo period master of Gesaku (戯作), Ryūtei Tanehiko 柳亭種彦 (1783–1842).


Gesaku: Written for Fun


Gesaku, literally means “written for fun”, and is a playful, slapstick, mocking, and exaggerated writing style, aiming to appeal to the merchant and working classes of Edo during the early Meiji P