71. Ishiyama moon (Ishiyama no tsuki)

Lady Murasaki is usually pictured in a violet robe (murasaki may be translated as "violet", or "purple", or "lavender"), sitting at her writing table in Ishiyama Temple, and looking out over Lake Biwa under a full moon. Yoshitoshi chooses a similar setting, but substitutes a mountain landscape for the lake. Murasaki Shikibu is thought to be the author of the world’s first novel Genji monogatari ("The Tale of Genji"), of which chapter 4 is the subject of plate #29. The origin of her name, her parentage, and the dates of her birth and death are somewhat of a mystery. The novel was supposedly finished in 1004 AD. To date, her room can be admired in Ishiyama Temple near Kyoto, although its authenticity is debatable. (printed October 1889)