The inspiration for this woodblock by Kunichicka is derived from Chapter 3 of the Tales of Genji, titled Utsusemi (The Shell of the Locust).
Although Genji continues to pursue Utsusemi ("Shell of the Locust"), she is painfully aware of the futility of maintaining a relationship with a man of Genji's stature. The orphaned daughter of a guards officer and the wife of a much older man of modest means, Utsusemi is "ashamed of herself that she had caught the eye of a man so far abover her"; still she can't help but feel drawn by Genji's splendour and " did not want him to forget her entirely".
Not easily rebuffed, Genji sends her many tender letters and attempts to see her a second and then a third time. On this third visit, Genji secretly observes Utsusemi playing Go with her stepdaugher. As the women prepare to retire for the evening, Genji approaches the room. Utsusemi "sensed that something was amiss, detecting an unusual perfume, she raised her head....She could see a form creeping toward her. In a panic, she got up and slipped from the room.
Series Fifty Four Loves of Contemporary Genji
Carver Hori Gin (Asai Ginjirö)
Publisher Sawamuraya ( Takekawa ) Seikichi