From court to pleasure quarters
Korach, Kendal Anne
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Genji is the beloved protagonist in Murasaki Shikibu’s literary masterpiece The Tale of Genji about court life during the Heian period in Japan. Images of this popular novel pervade Japanese art throughout the centuries in painted and printed form. This thesis will survey the visual history of the Tale of Genji from the Muromachi through Edo periods, in both painting and woodblock prints, but will primarily concentrate on Genji images from the Edo period. Historical evidence will be used to shed light on the political and economic policies established by the Tokugawa shogunate, and how they affected the status of the merchants and artisan classes, and, in turn, the visual depictions of Genji.