Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > East Asian Collections > 21. Kuzuoka Nobuyoshi

21.  Kuzuoka Nobuyoshi (1629-1717).  Urashima Tarō. Japan: s.n., n.d. C. V. Starr East Asian Library

These volumes are fine examples of a genre known as Nara e-hon (Nara illustrated books, although with no known connection to the city of Naraor the historical Nara period, 645-794). The beautiful manuscript books and scrolls were actually produced in the late Muromachi (1336-1600) and early Edo (1600-1868) periods. This volume recounts the folk story of a young fisherman, Tarō from Urashima, who rescues a turtle from a group of children. The turtle later returns to take Tarō under the sea to the Palace of the Dragon King. He is treated with great kindness, but becomes too homesick to remain. When he returns to his island home he discovers that hundreds of years have passed while he was under the sea.

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