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Scripting The Moribund: The Genji Scrolls’ Aesthetics Of Decomposition

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the multiple ways in which 'death is encountered' in the context of the Genji Scrolls and reconsiders Sano's point at the end. Most of the scroll sections have been lost, but it is thought that at one time, sections that corresponded to each of The Tale of Genji's fifty-four chapters existed. Each painting in the Genji Scrolls was originally preceded by a kotobagaki and each kotobagaki provided a framing narrative to contextualize and foreshadow the scene depicted in the painting. Illness is a salient theme in the 'Kashiwagi' chapter, and it has infected the calligraphic array of the Kashiwagi scroll sets. Art historian Egami Yasushi notes about the paper of Kashiwagi II that sheets three to five have been treated with the same scented dye. Like Murasaki, the calligraphy on the final sheet of the Minori kotobagaki is feeble.

Keywords: Genji scrolls; Kashiwagi chapter; kotobagaki; Murasaki



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