Narrative Picture Scroll about Love Romance of Courtier and Girl at Sumiyoshi

Kamakura period, 13th century

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo, Japan

This is a picture scroll depicting the "Sumiyoshi Monogatari" and the remnant of the oldest existing scroll. Sumiyoshi Monogatari is a love story about a third-class officer and a princess that goes as follows: One day, the princess suddenly disappeared from the public eye as she had run away from her mean step-mother and had taken refuge in Sumiyoshi. The lieutenant general, who missed her badly, had a dream of the Kannon of the Hasedera Temple, who told him her whereabouts. He finally found her and after she met her father, they got married and lived happily ever after.While one volume and four paintings currently exist, according to a copy of the original, they used to constitute one scroll at the time of 1848. The one volume and one painting owned by the Tokyo National Museum depict part of the latter half of the Sumiyoshi Monogatari comprising a scene where the lieutenant found the princess in Sumiyoshi and a party celebrating their marriage (first volume) and a scene where the lieutenant and his friends from Kyoto celebrated the marriage by playing music together (one painting). The painting of the scene depicting their return to Kyoto and a legend explaining their life in Kyoto are owned by a private individual. The value of the legend that has been passed down to the present is immeasurable, despite the fact that it contains only three sentences.The volume the Tokyo National Museum owns depicts a series of five scenes, which had happened at different times, on a long screen without any legend. This form of description differs from that of the traditional picture scrolls of the Heian period known as a paragraph style and rather resembles the screen development of a narrative picture scroll. The Seikado Bunko Art Museum owns a two-volume book different from this type.


  • Title: Narrative Picture Scroll about Love Romance of Courtier and Girl at Sumiyoshi
  • Date Created: Kamakura period, 13th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w3041 x h303 mm
  • Object Title: 住吉物語絵巻
  • Object Notes(Japanese): 継母にいじめられて住吉に逃れた姫君を、彼女に恋こがれる三位の中将が長谷寺の観音の夢告によって訪ねあて、めでたく結ばれて都に帰ったのち、父と対面して幸福に暮らすという『住吉物語』を絵画化した、現存最古の絵巻の残欠である。 1巻と4幅が現存し、模本によれば、嘉永元年(1848)当時はこれらが1巻の巻物であった。当館所蔵の1巻1幅は物語後半の一部で、中将が住吉で姫を探しあてて結ばれる場面と二人の婚礼を祝う酒盛(1巻)、噂を聞いて都から訪ねて来た中将の友人達との管弦(1幅)に相当する。中将と姫君の一行が都へ帰る場面の絵と、これに続く帰京後の段の詞書が個人蔵となっている。わずか三行分ながら伝存した詞書は貴重である。 東博本1巻は詞をはさまない長大な画面に時間の異なる五場面を連続して描いている。こうした描写形式は、段落式とも呼ばれる平安時代の物語絵巻の伝統から離れて、むしろ、説話絵巻の画面展開に通ずる。なお静嘉堂文庫美術館にこれとは異なる2巻本が伝来している。
  • Object Date: 鎌倉時代・13世紀
  • Medium(Japanese): 紙本着色
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: http://www.emuseum.jp/detail/100256
  • Medium: Color on paper

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