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Visualizing the Supernatural:  Yūgao in The Tale of Genji

Visualizing the Supernatural: Yūgao in The Tale of Genji
April 2 – June 10, 2013
Peeler Art Center, second floor exhibition case
Opening Reception: Tuesday, April 9 11:40 AM

Curated by the students of the Kyoto! A Cultural Metropolis course, this exhibition features objects from DePauw University’s permanent collection and two prints on loan from Scripps College located in Claremont, California.  The works of art reflect Heian-era (794-1185) Japan’s belief in the supernatural, centering on the tragic figure of Yūgao, the Twilight Beauty, who was loved by the eponymous “hero” of The Tale of Genji and paid the ultimate price—Yūgao was murdered by the angry spirit of one of Genji’s jealous lovers. Written at the beginning of the eleventh century by a woman, Murasaki Shikibu, and considered the world’s first novel, The Tale of Genjiinspired and continues to inspire creative minds in the arts, spawning not only paintings and prints, but also noh and kabuki plays, literary parody, as well as homage, film, manga, and anime. Yūgao in particular seems to have captured the imagination of readers, despite appearing in only a one of the novel’s fifty-four chapters.