Lady Oyu, from the series "Ashikari" (The Reed Cutter) by Tanizaki Jun'ichiro

Lady Oyu, from the series "Ashikari" (The Reed Cutter) by Tanizaki Jun'ichiro 

蘆刈 お遊さま

森田 曠平
Birth Year
Death Year
Technique, Material, Format
color on paper, framed (one of the set of four) 
45.6 x 182.9 cm 
Donor name
Ms. Morita Sadako
Nihonga (Japanese-style Painting) 
Inventory Number

These four paintings are based on Tanizaki Junichiro’s fantastical novel Ashikari (The Reed Cutter), which was in turn inspired by a Noh play of the same title. The original source was a folk tale about a couple from Namba (the old name for Osaka), where reeds once grew in abundance. In the novel, a reed bed on a moonlit night is the setting in which a man recounts the checkered life of his father, who married the sister of a girl he fancied. Morita Kohei depicts the four scenes in a long horizontal format reminiscent of traditional picture scrolls, but instead of binding them in a single scroll, he framed them as separate images of varying length. Viewing the four very different images is akin to watching the set changes in a play, and they prompt leaps of imagination in their viewers. We can also see that the artist, who was interested in new approaches to narrative picture scrolls, put a lot of thought into the compositions and mounting of his works in order to convey their charms in contemporary exhibition spaces.

*You can see other works from this series .

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