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Writing Box (Suzuribako) with the "First Song of Spring" (Hatsune) Chapter from the Tale of Genji (lid)

Writing Box (Suzuribako) with the "First Song of Spring" (Hatsune) Chapter from the Tale of Genji (lid)

early 1900s

Part of a set. See all set records

Lacquered wood with gold and silver sprinkled powder (maki-e), foil application (kirikane), and inlay

Overall: 22.8 x 26.7 cm (9 x 10 1/2 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Newman T. Halvorson 1970.28.b



The design of this box was inspired by an object in the lacquer wedding set of Chiyohime, the daughter of the shogun (ruler) in 1639. Information about the set became available in the Meiji period, leading some lacquer artists to emulate it. It features a scene from the chapter “Hatsune” (First Song) of the Tale of Genji, in which Prince Genji and his love Murasaki enjoy her garden. It incorporates the written characters hatsu (first, 初) and ne (sound, 音), indicating the first song of the warbler in spring, associated with the new year.

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