Announcing the Upcoming Marubeni Gallery Exhibition:
The Tale of Genji—The Beauty of a Court Lady’s Attire, Reborn

Nov. 01, 2023
Marubeni Corporation


Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”) is pleased to announce that the upcoming Marubeni Gallery exhibition The Tale of Genji—The Beauty of a Court Lady’s Attire, Reborn will be held from December 1 to 28, 2023.

The Tale of Genji

This exhibition will feature the “reborn” court attire of Lady Akashi, a character from The Tale of Genji, one of Japan’s most famous literary works and widely considered to be the world’s first novel (written a millennium ago, at the beginning of the 11th century). Working from the description of Lady Akashi’s dress in Chapter 35, “Spring Shoots II,” Jissen Women’s University spent five years recreating the attire as part of the university’s “Creating an Interdisciplinary and International Base for the Study of The Tale of Genji” initiative, which in turn is part of Japan’s nationwide “Private University Research Branding Project.” This piece will be displayed as part of a collection of never-before-seen women’s attire from the Heian period (794 to 1185 CE), faithfully recreated by a team of experts across a variety of fields, whose extensive research into stories, picture scrolls, historical texts, and other relevant materials will also be presented at the exhibition.

Visitors can also look forward to the planned January 2024 exhibition, Kosode Reproduced from a Fabric Fragment with an Ink Inscription: “Order Received from Fushimi-dono,”  which will feature another faithful reproduction of traditional attire, this time based on a kosode (short-sleeved kimono) fabric fragment belonging to the Marubeni Collection, which dates back to the Momoyama period (1573–1615 CE). 

Both exhibitions’ pieces have been meticulously recreated or reproduced by first-rate artisans after careful background research by specialists in Heian and Momoyama period records. Ultimately, both exhibitions aim to share verified new discoveries and traditional artisanal techniques with the wider public, thus conveying these significant contributions to scholarship as well as ancient techniques to future generations.

Exhibition Details:
Dates: Friday, December 1 to Thursday, December 28, 2023
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm (Last admission: 4:30 pm)
Closed: Sundays and public holidays
Admission: General admission: 500 yen
All proceeds from general admission sales will be donated to the Marubeni Foundation.
Note 1: The Marubeni Gallery is only able to accept cashless payments (such as transportation IC cards, credit cards, and QR code payments). 
Note 2: Admission is free for the following groups.
・ Children under 18 and 18/19-year-old senior high school students (with student ID)
・ Visitors with an official disability certificate, plus one accompanying caregiver
・ Visitors wearing a kimono, yukata, or other traditional Japanese attire
Organizers: Marubeni Gallery, Jissen Women’s University

About the Marubeni Gallery:
Designed under the concept of “a space where the aesthetics of the East and West in ancient and modern times resonate with each other,” the Marubeni Gallery is a facility where Marubeni’s art collection is on display to the public. Marubeni’s art collection consists of the three main categories: textiles, designs for textiles, and paintings. Since its founding in 1858, Marubeni has pursued the aesthetic beauty of Japan through its textile business. This resulted in the collection and preservation of ancient textile products (such as kimono, obi, and silk gift-wrapping cloth) and designs primarily from the 17th to mid-19th centuries—the first and second pillars of the collection. Gaining contacts in the art world through this pursuit of textile designs, Marubeni also acquired modern Japanese paintings through art dealers or from the artists themselves. Later, in the 1960s and 70s, Marubeni expanded into the international art business, acquiring Western paintings as well. Together, these Japanese and Western paintings form the third pillar of the collection. Today, the Marubeni Gallery features rotating exhibitions to share this collection, the history of Marubeni, and the aesthetic beauty of both East and West with the public.

Official Website: https://www.marubeni.com/gallery/en/
Official Instagram: https://instagram.com/marubeni_gallery_official

Future Exhibit (Tentative Title/Details): 
Kosode Reproduced from a Fabric Fragment with an Ink Inscription: “Order Received from Fushimi-dono” (January 23 to February 22, 2024)