W110xH170mm, Japanese

The print belongs to the Tale of Genji, a classic Japanese literature which many consider to be the first and finest pose work novel.  The author Murasaki Shikibu (11th century) was a noblewoman and lady-in-waiting, offer a glimpse into the live of the high courtiers of the Heian period.  There are 54 chapters in the Tale of Genji, each represented by a individual crest (genji-mon/genji-ko).  In this ukiyo-e print, the crest is the repetitive background symbols in dark and light blue, it is the 12th chapter (Suma).  The print depicted Genji exiled in Suma for the scandal of his love affair with Oborozukiyo.

This is an ukiyo-e print of the Utgawa school.  The Utgawa school was founded by Toyoharu and expanded by his student Toyokuni I who made it the most famous and powerful woodblock print school of the late 19th century.