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Kitao SHIGEMASA (1739-1820)



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A hosoban showing the actors Ichikawa Komazo II (above right) in the role of Honcho Tsunagoro and Otani Hiroemon II (below) as Hantoki Kuroemon. The play was the second item (nibanme) on the programme which came after the first play Hatsuakinai omise Soga performed at the Nakamura-za Theatre, Spring 1767. The shop sign behind the actors reads Kinoeneya. Published by Miyaji, 1767.

 

Fine impression. Slight fading, otherwise very good colour and condition. Signed Kitao Shigemasa ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Suzuki HARUNOBU (1724-1770)



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A fine chuban from a series parodying the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, this being Daikoku, the god of wealth, seen here attempting to stand on one of his straw bales of rice. The famous waitress Kasamori O-sen (1751-1827) stands holding a battledore on New Year’s Day while her companion balances on Daikoku’s shoulders attempting to retrieve the shuttlecock caught in the kado-matsu decorations using her own battledore. The lantern on the right reads Kagi-ya, which was a tea-house located by the Kasamori Inari Shrine in Yanaka, north of Edo, which was owned by O-sen’s father and where she was the waitress. Considered to be one of “The Three Beauties” of her time. (Given the date of the print, she must have been around 18 when shown here.) The Torii gate is seen on the left. The poem above speaks of a New Year’s fresh gem [O-Sen] and how the trees and grasses bend to her. Published c. 1769.

 

Fine impression: As with many Harunobu, the lines are in relief because of the thick hosho. Exceptional colour: Even the vegetable blue used for the paving stones leading to the temple have not turned except at the extreme left and right. This was a colour used frequently by Harunobu to depict water but is almost always faded to a puce colour. Minimal soil, otherwise a fine example from this period. Signed Harunobu ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A triptych showing the great sumo wrestling match between Momotaro and Kaidomaru, the two youths of prodigious strength. Momotaro, on the right, is identified by the peaches on his garment. (He was known as “The Peach Boy.”) A pheasant is umpiring the match (a reference to the companions Momotaro makes early in his career: a monkey, dog and pheasant). While a bear officiates on Kaidomaru’s side (also a reference to the animals he befriends in the forest). Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, c. 1842-6. Extremely rare.

 

Very good impression. Some slight movement of the colours, otherwise very good. Very good condition: full size. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An extremely rare and unusual surimono: I have only seen two impressions – both of which have passed through my hands, and one of which was gifted to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Shows the most famous playwright of his age – Tsuruya Nanboku IV (1755-1829). His crest is clearly visible on his shoulder. He died on the 27th of the 11th month, 1829 and this surimono must date from shortly after that: A sort of shini-e – very unusual in surimono form. He wrote the most famous Kabuki ghost story: Yotsuya kaidan, “Yotsuya Ghost Story” (1825) as well as the quick-change play Osome no nanayuki (1813).

 

Fine impression and colour. The poems above printed in gold. Slight soil. Very small restored binding holes at left edge, and slight trimming at bottom. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A rare diptych, Kansho Tempaizan mangan. This famous tale (with different versions) is the basis for the play Sugawara denju tenarai kagami, “Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy” which was performed at the Kawarazaki Theatre, Edo, 9/1832. This Mt. Tempai scene shows Kan Shojo (Sugawara no Michizane), a Heian politician and poet, transforming himself into a demon and invoking a storm. Umeomaru , a former retainer of Kan Shojo is seen climbing the mountain on the left sheet. There is also a fine vertical surimono diptych of this subject issued by Kunisada in 1832. Published by Yamaguchi Tobei. A fine design I have not catalogued before.

 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible centre fold, otherwise fine condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An uncut fan print showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro VIII in the role of Hanakawado no Sukeroku from a set: Mitate gonin otoko go-hiiki omoizashi, “A Parody of the Five Chivalrous Commoners, a Cup of Sake from their Fans.” Shows the actor holding a number of pipes; a shakuhachi protruding from his back. Published by Yama-Ta, 2ic/1852.

 

Extremely fine impression and colour. Minimal soil at bottom, otherwise fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An uncut fan print showing the actor Sawamura Chojuro V as Ono no Tofu (aka Ono no Michikaze) in the play Ono no Tofu aoyagi suzuri performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre, 3/1850. Shows the character holding a large umbrella. Published by Ibaya Senzaburo, 1850 (who seems to have specialised in fans).

 

Extremely fine impression and colour with extensive burnishing. Minimal soil at bottom, otherwise fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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The Empress Jingo Kogo, sumptuously attired, sitting on a rock with two Imperial Jewels above her. She is supposed to have invaded Korea although there is some debate about this. From a set Meiko hyaku yu den, “Stories of a Hundred Heroes of High Renown.” The series published by Idzumi-ya Ichibei, 1843-44.

 

Very fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Shomyoji-no bansho, “Vesper Bells at the Shomyoji Temple” from the rare early set Kanazawa hakkei, “Eight Views of Kanazawa.” The temple was built in 1258 by Hojo Sanetoki; the environs are seen on the right with boats in the foreground. The distant hills are printed without key-block outlines giving a painterly quality. These Eight View sets were inspired by the Eight Views of Xiaoxiang in China, first painted in the 11th century and then brought to Japan in the 14 – 15th centuries. Kanazawa is across Japan from Tokyo on the north coast on the Japan Sea. Published by Koshimuraya Heisuke, 1835-6.

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight margin soil and small expert repair to bottom left corner. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)



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Princess Toyotama, the daughter of the Dragon King of the sea, gives birth to Ugayafuki Aezu by turning herself into a dragon. From a set of 50 prints Azuma nishiki chuya kurabe, “Edo Embroidery Pictures.” The series published by Kobayashi Tetsujiro, 1886.

 

Fine impression with extensive mica. Fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshu Chikanobu hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)



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O’ai-no-kata of Okazaki dispatches a man who spied on her while taking a bath. From a set of 50 prints Azuma nishiki chuya kurabe, “Edo Embroidery Pictures.” The series published by Kobayashi Tetsujiro, 1886.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Yoshu Chikanobu hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Shoki appearing in the Chinese emperor Ming Huang’s dream and cleansing him of a fever demon. From the set Shinkei sanjurokkaisen, “New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts.” The set published by Sasaki Toyokichi, 1889 – 1892 (this being 1890).

 

Very fine first edition, fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

Status: Available

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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The famous daimyo Oda Nobunaga throwing an assailant over a terrace while the Honnoji Temple burns behind him. Nobunaga’s branch of the Oda clan held control of central Japan but he was eventually killed by his treacherous vassal Akechi Mitsuhide at this temple in 1582. From a set Dai Nippon meisho kagami, “Mirror of Famous Commanders of Great Japan.” The series of 51 prints published by Kumagai and Funazu Chujiro, c. 1876 – 82. The design here by the latter in 1878.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A triptych from a set of three designs: Buyu setsugekka no uchi, “Snow, Moon and Flowers with Valiant Warriors,” this being “Flower”: Ikutamori ume, “Plum at Ikuta Forest.” The battle of Ichi-no-Tan took place in the forest between the Taira and Minamoto clans. Published by Kiya Sojiro, 2/1867.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichieisai YOSHITSUYA (1822-1866)



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The young Kintaro, aka, Kintoki, Sakata Kaidomaru. He is shown fighting a giant carp in a waterfall from a series: Honcho musha kagami, Kintaro, “ Mirror of Warriors of Our Country, Kintaro.” This child of superhuman strength is often depicted with the animals living on Ashigara mountain where he honed his fighting skills and was spotted by Minamoto Yorimitsu (944-1021), under whom he went on to serve.Yoshitsuya was a pupil of Kuniyoshi and this print can be compared to a famous design by Kuniyoshi of the same subject published in 1836. Published by Tsujiokaya Bunsuke, 7/1856.

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight creasing, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa YOSHIHARU (1828-1888)



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The brigand Rori Hakucho Chojun from the set Suikoden goketsu kagami, “Mirror of the Heroes of the Suikoden.” A set mirrored on Kuniyoshi’s earlier Suikoden set. Shows him, with heavily tattooed torso and wielding a sword, defending himself against a dragon. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, 1856.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming top and bottom, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichibaisai Yoshiharu ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)



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An actor portrait showing Matsumoto Koshiro V (standing) in the role of Banzui Chobei and Bando Mitsugoro III as Shira Gonpachi next to a kago in Sakurada Jisuke I’s play Banzuin Chobei shojin manaita. Performed at the Nakamura-za 7/8/1803. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi.

 

Very good impression and condition. Grey ground. Almost perfect colour. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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An uncut fan print from a series: Koumei matsu tsukushi, “ Famous Kinds of Pine.” A euphemism for young beauties. One here shown holding a cage for fireflies being caught by children in the background. Published by Maruya Jinpachi, 4/1854.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)

 

 




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A vertical oban diptych, Fujigawa no setchu, “The Fuji River in Winter.” Hiroshige records in his diaries that he commenced on a journey westwards from Edo on the fourth month Tempo 12 (1842). He walked the Koshukaido to Kofu in Kai Province and then on to Shimo-suwa. On the route to Kofu, he mentions visiting the Saruhashi, Monkey Bridge, and consequently must have crossed the upper reaches of the Fuji River to reach Kofu. On his return Hiroshige designed two kakemono-e, one of the Monkey Bridge for the publisher Tsutaya, and the design here of Fujigawa for the publisher Kikakudo (Sanoya Kihei). Both are considered masterpieces. The magisterial format perfectly conveys the wild landscape with a diminutive figure crossing the bridge above the gorge with boatmen on the river. Published c. 1842-44. There are many copies of these two kakemono-e. Genuine impressions of this design should have a small vertical block defect bottom right where the mountain meets the river, just to the left of the publisher’s seal. Extremely rare.

 

Fine impression. The slopes of the mountain top left are printed without outline and appear different on different impressions, also because the block for the sky was changed. Fine colour (although the colour scheme is almost monochromatic relieved by only the blue of the river and touches of brown and green). Very good condition: Full size with ample room for joining of the two sheets. These designs often come heavily browned as they were hung as substitute paintings. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A triptych showing Prince Genji (far right) on a stone terrace looking out at Suma Beach, Akashi, thronged with visitors enjoying themselves. Two of his party look as though they are going to collect shells. A mitate of Chapter XIII of the Genji Monogatari where Genji is exiled at Akashi, Akashi no ura shiogari no zu. There was a proliferation of sets based on the original Genji Monogatari and the Ryutei Tenehiko (1783-1842) update at this time. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, 1/1855.

 

Fine impression and colour. Bokashi on the edge of the bay at top (missing on later editions). Fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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Narukami Shonin, a wicked priest, from the play Narukami. One of a set Toyokuni kigo kijutsu kurabe, “A Contest of Magic Scenes by Toyokuni.” The series published by Hiranoya Shinzo, 1862. The set is known for its deluxe printing.

 

Superb impression and colour. Fine condition. Signed Kio Toyokuni hitsu (77 year’s old).

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Choko and Cho-Un fighting on a hillside from a set Tsuzoku Sangokushi yeiyu no ichi-nin, “Heroes of the Popular History of the Three Kingdoms, One by One.” Published by Joshuya Kinzo, c. 1836.

 

Fine impression. Slight fading of red. Full size. Slight centre fold, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Kaidomaru felling a tengu during practise with wooden swords from a set Honcho kendo ryaku den, “Abridged Stories of our Country’s Swordsmanship.” The series published by Kadzusa-ya Iwazo, c. 1845-6.

 

Very fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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An early triptych showing Shutendoji’s palace on Mount Oyeyama, Oyeyama Shotendoji shuzui no zu. Raiko (Minamoto no Yorimitsu) is charged by the Emperor Murakami with killing the evil Shutendoji who terrorizes the neighbourhood. He and his retainers infiltrate the castle and ply Shutendoji and his ogrish band with sake and dance for them. Eventually Shutendoji is so intoxicated he has to be carried to bed, whereupon Raiko and his followers attack and decapitate Shutendoji. This is the episode most depicted with the head flying through the air. Published by Daikokuya Heikichi, c. 1832. Robinson T21. Rare.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Nihonbashi yukibare, “The Nihon Bridge, Clear Weather after Snow.” From Meisho Edo hyakkei, the “One Hundred Views of Edo.” The set published between 1856 and 1858 (this being 1856) by Uoya Eikichi. The bridge was completed in 1603 and was originally called Edo Bridge. All points are measured from this bridge (similar to our Charing Cross).

 

Fine impression of the first edition. There are slight variants of the first with some having red bokashi on the lower clouds but lacking the subtle gradation on Fuji and lower roofs. And also some have mica on the lower roofs. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Toki Motosada, the retainer of Gamo Sadahide, throwing a red temple guardian to the ground and vanquishing the ghosts on Mount Inohana. From the set Shinkei sanjurokkaisen, “New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts.” The set published by Sasaki Toyokichi, 1889 – 1892 (this being 1890). This seems to be the same subject Yoshitoshi used for his set Wakan hyaku monogatari but the names are altered.

 

Very fine first edition, fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Abe no Hirafu (c. 575 – 674), a governor of Koshi Province, is famous for quelling the indigenous people of northern Japan – the Ainu. He is shown here killing a giant bear in the snow (of either northern Japan or Korea). From a set Dai Nippon meisho kagami, “Mirror of Famous Commanders of Great Japan.” The series of 51 prints published by Kumagai and Funazu Chujiro, c. 1876 – 82. The design here by the latter in 1880.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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The famous wrestler Shirafuji Genta watching kappa (amphibious half humanoid, half turtle creatures). One of a set of 26 prints with title Wakan hyaku monogatari, “One Hundred Tales of China and Japan.” Published by Daikokuya Kinnosuke, 1865.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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The famous swordsman Miyamoto Musashi cutting the arm off a tengu. He was taught the short sword technique from his father but then became expert with the long sword, eventually inventing the two-sword style, with the long sword in the right hand, the short in the left. One of a set of 26 prints with title Wakan hyaku monogatari, “One Hundred Tales of China and Japan.” Published by Daikokuya Kinnosuke, 1865.

 

Fine impression. Fine colour and condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Lord Mashiba Tairyo Hisayoshi defying the thunderstorm on Mount Kobo conjured up by Kobo Daishi. A retribution for ignoring the vow of silence on the mountain. One of a set of 26 prints with title Wakan hyaku monogatari, “One Hundred Tales of China and Japan.” Published by Daikokuya Kinnosuke, 1865.

 

Fine impression with burnishing and mica. Fine colour. Trimmed close on the right, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Toki Daishiro, the retainer of Gamo Ujisato, vanquishing the demons in the temple on Mt. Inohana by grappling with the temple guardian. One of a set of 26 prints with title Wakan hyaku monogatari, “One Hundred Tales of China and Japan.” Published by Daikokuya Kinnosuke, 1865. This appears to be the same subject Yoshitoshi used in his set Shinkei sanjurokkaisen but with altered names.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichieisai YOSHITSUYA (1822-1866)



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An extremely rare print by this pupil of Kuniyoshi: Nobori ryu; kudari ryu, “Dragon going up [in the sky]; dragon going down [to the earth].” The most popular of Japanese subjects, printed in sumi and red. Published by Shimizuya Tsunejiro, 1849-50. This is the first time I have I catalogued this design.

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor creasing and slight adhesive mark at right edge. Signed Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Attributed to Torii KIYONOBU II (Active 1710s – 1760)



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A sumizuri-e abuna-e sheet from a shunga set published c. late 1710s. MFA has 10 sheets from the set , RES.09.310.1 to .10. They are based on designs by his father, Torii Kiyonobu I.

 

Fine impression. Fine hand-colouring. Backed (from a scroll), some light soil and minor creasing, all appropriate with date.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A poem by the Heian waka poet Fujiwara no Okikaze , one of the Thirty-Six Immortals of poetry. Shows the poet with a lantern walking along the shore of Takasago Bay past one of the famous pines, all in heavy rain. His famous poem refers to the pine. From a set Hyaku-nin isshu, “The Hundred Poets.” The series published by Yebi-Ne, 1840-2.

 

Fine impression. (This appears to be the first edition with the pine printed lightly in two tones.) Fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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