The Syllable Shi: Minamoto no Itaru Flirts at a Funeral, from the series Tales of Ise in Fashionable Brocade Prints (Fûryû nishiki-e Ise monogatari)

風流錦絵伊勢物語 「し」 源の至

Edo period
about 1770–73 (Meiwa 7–An'ei 2)
Artist Katsukawa Shunshô (Japanese, 1726–1792)


Vertical koban (half aiban); 22.6 x 16 cm (8 7/8 x 6 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



No. 42 in the series of 48, illustrating episode 39 of Tales of Ise.

The series was apparently published in the form of two orihon albums, the first volume (24 designs on 12 aiban sheets) in about 1770, the second volume in about 1772-73. The complete set, in two volumes: 2006.1795.


Poem: Idete inaba/ kagiri narubemi/ tomoshi kechi/ toshi henuru ka to/ naku koe o kike


Shunshô ga


By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)

[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection