Yukihira and Two Brinemaidens at Suma

Artist: Okumura Masanobu (Japanese, 1686–1764)

Period: Edo period (1615–1868)

Date: 18th century

Culture: Japan

Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk

Dimensions: Image: 33 1/8 x 12 7/8 in. (84.1 x 32.7 cm)
Overall with mounting: 66 3/4 x 17 3/4 in. (169.5 x 45.1 cm)
Overall with knobs: 66 3/4 x 20 1/4 in. (169.5 x 51.4 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975

Accession Number: 1975.268.126


Masanobu, a great innovator of ukiyo-e painting, gives the classic tale of the sisters Matsukaze and Murasame a novel treatment. The setting, sketched lightly in ink, is Suma's desolate shore, but the colorful protagonists are characteristic of the "floating world" of Edo's pleasure quarter.

Here, the sisters' lover, Yukihira, is portrayed as an urban bon vivant and affects a stylish nonchalance. His flashy robe is patterned with the bamboo blinds of a well-appointed room and features crests of a courtier's cap, furthering the playful fantasy of the Edo townsman as aristocratic lover. A striped jacket and hat, typical of an Edo dandy, are draped on the tree in the background, recalling the fabled pine at Suma where Yukihira once left a robe and cap as parting gifts.