Organized Panel Session
This panel analyses emaki from the viewpoint of scholars of literature, emphasizing the interdependence between the original literary text and its pictorial adaptations, which rewrite and reshape the text’s reception in various historical and cultural moments. These papers demonstrate that the meanings embedded in pictorial adaptations extend beyond the images themselves and enrich both the artistic work and its literary source-text.
Otilia Milutin argues that in the case of the 12th-century Tale of Genji Scrolls, the artists-some of them probably women-succeed in conveying the often inexpressible trauma of sexual violence and constructing clearly identifiable iconographies of feminine distress.
Eguchi Keiko focuses on the influence of The Tale of Genji on later works, such as the 15th-16th century Chigoima Scrolls, and discusses the novel use of words written within the picture-frame that give voice to the ladies-in-waiting which were previously silent in earlier Tale of Genji Scrolls.
Michelle Kuhn examines the Seattle Asian Art Museum Illustrated Tale of Genji to highlight the proliferation of Genji pictures in the 17th century, which allowed a plethora of new interpretations of the tale, including the choice to hide certain problematic characters like the Rokujō Lady.
Finally, Misaki Suematsu considers the ways that texts are interpreted and reproduced through illustrated scrolls, such as the Shutendōji Scrolls of the Kano school-contemporary with the Seattle Genji Scrolls produced by the Tosa school. By focusing on the selection of scenes and the depictions of people and demons, she highlights thus the differences between two types of Edo-period pictorialization.