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Minghuang’s Dalliance

Minghuang’s Dalliance - J 1158.1, ill. 5/18 Zoom

Minghuang’s Dalliance

Song of Lasting Sorrow
Kano Sansetsu and Studio
Edo period (about 1600-1867), Japan
J 1158.1, ill. 5/18

Commentary:

This scroll depicts the tale of Chogonka gakan (Song of Lasting Sorrow), a tragic Chinese love poem written by Bai Juyi (772-846). Based on a true story, the poem describes Emperor Xuanzong’s (r.712-56) (also known as Minghuang) doomed love affair with the concubine Yang Guifei (‘Precious Consort’). The emperor neglects state affairs, provoking a rebellion. He flees the capital and his beloved Yang Guifei is subsequently executed, leaving the emperor to while away his days in regret. This scene shown here depicts the unceasing nocturnal pleasures that the couple share after Minghuang first spies Yang Guifei.

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長恨歌, 狩野山雪, 長恨歌図巻, genji

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