Suma, Illustration To Chapter 12 Of The Tale Of Genji (Genji Monogatari)
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Tosa Mitsunobu, Japanese ( active c. 1469-1522)
Suma, Illustration to Chapter 12 of the Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari)
Other Titles
Transliterated Title: Genji monogatari: Suma
Work Type
album leaf, painting
Muromachi period, datable to 1509-1510
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan, Kyôto Metropolitan Area, Kyôto
Muromachi period, 1392-1568
Physical Descriptions
The twelfth of a series of 54 painted album leaves mounted in an album with calligraphic excerpts; ink, color, and gold on paper
H. 24.2 cm x W. 18.0 cm (9 1/2 x 7 1/16 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of the Hofer Collection of the Arts of Asia
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Genji (playing the koto) and two retainers sit in a rustic building in Suma (where Genji is in exiled). Two women in an elaborate boat in the foreground.
Publication History

Kaori Chino, "Tokushû: Genji monogatari gajô - Hâvâdo Daigaku Bijutsukan zô" [Special Issue: The Tale of Genji Album in the Collection of Harvard University Art Museums] (Tokyo, Japan, 1997), p. 27

Le Dit du Genji de Murasaki-shikibu [The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu]: Illustré par la peinture traditionnelle japonaise du XII au XVII siècle [Illustrated by traditional Japanese painting of the 12th through 17th century], Editions Diane de Selliers (Paris, France, 2007 & 2008), Vol. 1 / p. 318 with details on p. 328 & 332

Melissa McCormick, Tosa Mitsunobu and the Small Scroll in Medieval Japan, University of Washington Press (Seattle, WA, 2009), pp. 93-94, fig. 35 (left)

Takeshi Noguchi, Genji monogatari sennen kinen [The Millenium of The Tale of Genji], exh. cat., The Museum of Kyoto (Kyoto, Japan, April 2008), p. 161, Cat. No. 70

Exhibition History

Women and the Arts of Asia, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 09/10/1994 - 03/05/1995

Masterworks of East Asian Painting, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 11/03/1995 - 06/09/1996

The Millennium of the Tale of Genji, The Museum of Kyoto, Kyoto, 04/26/2008 - 06/08/2008

Related Works
Verification Level

4 - Best. Object is extensively researched, well described and information is vetted