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Type: Journal article
Title: Nishiki-e and Kumi-uta: innovations in Edo Popular Prints and Music in Suzuki Harunobu's Descending Geese of the Koto Bridges (Kotoji no rakugan)
Author: Coaldrake, A.
Citation: Japanese Studies, 2012; 32(1):113-127
Publisher: Carfax Publishing Ltd
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1037-1397
Statement of
Kimi Coaldrake
Abstract: In late eighteenth-century Edo there was a tradition of popularising elite culture. Two artistic forms that were changed by this desire to innovate were theukiyo-eprint and music for thekoto(13-string zither). Theukiyo-eprint was developed from single colours into a full colour extravaganza (nishiki-e) by the need for patrons and artists to compete with each other in a growing market whilekotosong cycles, known askumi-uta, became standardised in written notation and captured an oral tradition that was disappearing with the death of its practitioners. As a result, thenishiki-etook classical subject matter to the masses through the use ofmitate-eor parody and the publication ofkumi-utasongbooks presented any performer with song melodies and lyrics for every occasion, turning classical performance and themes into popular music. This article analyses Harunobu's two versions of the print ofDescending Geese of the Koto Bridges – a rare copy found in the Art Gallery of South Australia and the other held in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston – to reveal the way in which popularisation created synergy between the full-colourukiyo-eprint and self-accompanied singing with thekoto.
Rights: © 2012 Japanese Studies Association of Australia
RMID: 0020119439
DOI: 10.1080/10371397.2012.669728
Appears in Collections:Music publications, scores & recorded works

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