Talk:Suzuki Harunobu

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Mitate-e (parody piece)[edit]

Harunobu was known for commonly using "parody art" known as mitate-e and this needs to be explained more clearly. Right now, this is addressed by the sentence "His work is rich in literary allusion, and he often quotes Japanese classical poetry, but the accompanying illustrations often gently poke fun at the subject" in the article.

This mitate-e came up as an offshoot of the Talk:Murasaki Shikibu (cf. Harunobu's commons:Lady Murasaki writing.png). A parody art means it portrays a contemporary Edo period woman play-acting a scene from a historic or legendary figure, but still using contemporary clothing and objects. The fact that a piece is a mitate-e is not always given in the title, but it is probably obvious to initiates that this is a parody, since the woman wears contemporary Edo-period costume, and probably this is a woman from the pleasure quarters. However I haven't located a comment specifically on this piece to be able to say it.

Here is a list of some "Mitate Murasaki Shikibu" pieces by Harunobu and others, to get some idea:

(Japanese, 1686–1764) [url= Metropolitan Museum of Art (Accession Number:JP682)] --Kiyoweap (talk) 09:23, 27 May 2012 (UTC)


It was already pointed out in Talk:Murasaki Shikibu that Harunobu's Lady Murasaki parody (probably) piece comprises one of five pieces, representing the "Five Constants" (五常) or "the five cardinal virtues" of Confucianism.

The piece "Righteousness (Gi)" is mentioned in Hockley, Allen (2003). "The Prints of Isoda Koryūsai: Floating World Culture and Its Consumers in Eighteenth-century Japan" (preview). University of Washington Press. ISBN 9-780-295-98301-1.  Unknown parameter |otherauthors= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |isbn10= ignored (help), though not really pertinent to this section. The gender-bending point I want to make is that the two figures, thought dressed as women, are actually iroko or boy prostitutes from this type of brothels (kagema jaya) perhaps around the Yushima area, according to Kobayashi (Nakamura, Shinichiro (中村真一郎); Kobayashi, Tadashi (小林忠); Saeki, Junko (佐伯順子); Hayashi, Yoshikazu (林美一) (1992). 春信 美人画と艶本 (Harunobu bijinga to enbon). Tombo no hon. Shinchosha. ISBN 4-10-602007-6. , p.26, p.45). This point is also mentioned in a blog 三橋順子 (April 18, 2009). "「 東京交流会」講演要旨(第1部の2)" (blog). 続・たそがれ日記. Retrieved May 2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help), by a trans-gender author, Junko Mitsuhashi (ja:三橋順子).

The fact that they are boys is indicated by certain visual hints according to Kobayashi, who says the tassels signify their iroko status. There might be more subtle hints (of the toki-e or hanji-mono/rebus type) but I don't know enough about this. Another website that posts this picture is Honolulu Museum of Art. "Righteousness (Harunobu print)". Japanese Woodblock Prints Collection. Retrieved May 2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help). There is not much text on the site to give information, but the next item in the gallery on that site is a mitate of the samurai warrior Ōta Dōkan, but shows what looks like a girl among the townfolk. This type of gender mixing mitate seems common though, and occurs in other artists.

Anyhow, and homoeroticity (see ) needs to be covered one way or another.--07:46, 29 May 2012 (UTC)(amended from 09:29, 27 May 2012 (UTC))