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Clouds of Prince Genji

A work made of color woodblock print; surimono.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of color woodblock print; surimono.


summer 1885


Shibata Zeshin
Japanese, 1807-1891

About this artwork

This print by Shibata Zeshin was commissioned by the poet Hozan. Created two years later than The Cup of Long Life, it also celebrates longevity. Not only is Zeshin’s age prominently displayed (he signed the print: “the 79-year-old Zeshin”) but the occasion for the print is the commemoration of the 70th birthdays of a number of poets in Hozan’s circle.
The print’s depiction of summer plants enclosed by stylized cloud banks references Tosa-school gold clouds and classical Genji images. These were favored by 19th-century poets, who saw themselves (if half in jest) as later versions of heroes from the classical age of poetry and sensitivity.


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Arts of Asia


Shibata Zeshin


Clouds of Prince Genji


Japan (Artist's nationality)




Color woodblock print; surimono


56.5 × 42 cm (22 1/4 × 16 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Charles H. Mitchell Collection unrestricted gift

Reference Number


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