Please contact JapanesePrints-London for prices of catalogued items. We also purchase prints, paintings and books individually or as collections. Richard Kruml also appraises and values collections.

 

Dealing in fine Japanese prints, paintings and books since 1968.

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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“Goat” from a set Mitate junishi, “Selection for the Twelve Signs.” Shows the beauty Okoma looking through a curtain. Briefly the story relates how she is to be married off to a rich man by her mother but Okoma is in love with another man called Chushichi. A visiting barber cuts Chushichi’s hair and concocts a scheme with him to have her kidnaped and for Chushichi to rescue her. Published by Kojima c 1845. Robinson S38.8.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The best design from a set of half-length otokodate figures: Kuniyoshi moyo shofuda tsuketari genkin otoko, “Men of Ready Money with True Labels Attached, Kuniyoshi Fashion.” Here showing Danshichi Kurobei emptying a bucket of water over himself. Danshichi was a fishmonger in the city of Sakai who murdered somebody in the mid-winterof 1697, the body only being discovered when the snow melted. He is often depicted pouring water over his head, although there are also versions where he commits the crime in a swamp. Published by Ibaya Kyubedi, 1845. Poem by Hoshitei.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The death of the Daimyo Imagawa Yoshimoto (1519-60) by Oda Nobunaga during the battle of Okehazama which was fought at night during an intense downpour and was the culmination of the feud between the Imagawa and Oda clans. The battlefield is now a park and a national historical site. The best design from a set Yobu hakkei, “Military Brilliance of the Eight Views.” Each print relates to the famous Eight Views theme, in this case Narumi yau, “Night Rain at Narumi.” Published by Enshuya Hikobei, 1852.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size with extra paper left and top, which is unusual as these prints are normally trimmed from albums. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A triptych showing the great wrestling match between Matano Goro Kagehisa and Kawazu Saburo Sukeyasu. The match was refereed by Ebina Gempachi and occurred during a hunting expedition organised by the general Minamoto no Yoritomo in 1176 near Mt. Akazawa. Kawazu was the eventual victor after a rematch, throwing Matano by twisting his foot behind him – a throw still known as the kawazu in his honour. Kawazu was later found murdered – his death being avenged by his sons Juro and Goro. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, 1838-40. An earlier version was designed by Kunisada as well as there being an excellent example by Kuniyoshi.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor creasing and wear, otherwise good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa YOSHIKAZU (Active 1850-1870)



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A triptych showing Miinamoto no Yorimitsu (aka Raiko) and his retainers confronting the giant Earth Spider (Tsuchigumo – a form of spider-like yokai). After a fierce battle Yorimitsu cuts off the head of the spider and 1990 dead victims emerge from its stomach. A popular subject and there are numerous versions by other artists.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Light backing and trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Isshunsai Yoshikazu ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Seki and Kameyama from the chuban Muraichi Tokaido. The set of 56 prints published by Muraichi, 1852. Printed two-to-a-sheet uncut and probably from a complete proof set. Double censor’s seals Murata and Kinugasa and date seal 2ic/1852 top right.

 

 

Fine impressions with strong woodgrain showing. Fine colour. Very small binding holes in right border, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga on each print.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A snow scene: Fukagawa kiba, “Fukagawa Timber Yards.” The yards date back and are the result of the Meireki fire of 1657. Large amounts of wood was required for expanding Edo and the wood yards were moved to this area of swampland east of the Sumida River. From the set Meisho Edo hyakkei, “One Hundred Views of Edo.” The set published by Uoya Eikichi 1856-58 (this being 1856). The set comprises 118 prints by Hiroshige and another by Hiroshige II. However, three prints are dated 10/1858, the month following Hiroshige’s death, and these are thought to be by Hiroshige II as well. They are: Ueno Yamashita, Ichigaya Hachiman and Bikunibashi.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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Enshu Akiba enkei Fukuroi tako. Fukuroi, Enshu (Totomi) Province from the “Hundred Views of Famous Places in the Provinces.” An uncompleted set of 81 prints published by Uoya Eikichi between 1859 – 1861 (this being 1859). Shows kite flying with a distant view of Mount Akiba. It has been suggested that the release of confetti was to bring good luck for the forthcoming harvest.

 

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour. Very slight soil, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Shotei HOKUJU (1763-1825)




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Shimosa Choshi no ura katsuo tsuribune, “Fishing for Bonito in Choshi Bay in Shimosa Province.” Hokuju, a pupil of Hokusai, produced a number of these fine “westernized” landscapes designed with stylised clouds, cubistic mountains and shadows cast by figures. This is one of the best. Bonito is a favourite fish in Japan where it is in the markets from around May each year. Choshin Bay has always produced the largest seafood catch in Japan. Hokuju produced a substantial body of work in this vein. However, he was not the only one. Okyo, Toyoharu, Hokusai, Kunitora, Kuninao and Shinsai also designed prints in this genre, as well as other artists producing examples. Interestingly, Hiroshige, the pre-eminent landscape artist, designed nothing like this. Indeed, the influences flowed the other way before too long, Hiroshige being a favourite of the Impressionists. This is the rare first edition published by Eijudo, c. 1820. His landscapes were republished by Yamamoto. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Very good condition. Full size. Signed Shotei Hokuju ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Hishikawa MOROSHIGE (FL. 1684-1704)




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An original painting showing a high-ranking samurai household at leisure. Moroshige was the senior pupil of Hishikawa Moronobu, and, it is said, was the father of Furuyama Moromasa. Sumi and full colour with gold additions on paper. 11.5 x 19 in; 29 x 48.25 cms. This is most likely from a handscroll as the height is correct, and the slight vertical striations indicate it has been rolled at some time. Painted c. 1700. Some slight loss of pigments, especially the verdigris and minor marks, but all commensurate with the age of the painting. The details on the costumes of the two main figures are exquisite.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Nishiyama KAN’EI (1834-1897)




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A gajo (album) of 21 original paintings by Nishiyama Kan’ei, the son and pupil of Nishiyama Hoen. They both worked in Osaka and Kan’ei carried on the Shijo school tradition. Relatively few paintings and drawings by Kan’ei survive but based on these and his fine Kan’ei gafu, published in 1886, it is evident he was an accomplished artist. The postscript to the album is an authentication by Takebe Hakuoh (1871-1927) stating that they are original works by the master. He studied under Kan’ei. Comes with the original box. The album and box in excellent condition. Sumi and light colour on paper mounted on gold-flecked boards. All paintings sealed Kan’ei.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utgawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Kurodai, black sea bream (Acantho pagus schlegeli) and akadai, red bream (Pagus tumifrons) together with bamboo shoots and Japanese pepper. Poems by Tomigaki Uchiyasu and Kaoan Hoshi. From the first series of ten plus one prints published by Eijudo, c. 1832-34. The set was issued privately for a poetry group (probably the Shingyoku Circle) with judges’ names and extra poems. These prints are of the utmost rarity as probably only enough for the Circle were printed and they seldom come onto the market.

 

 

Fine, early impression before the grey block defect on the tail of the black sea bream. Fine colour. Slight centre fold (as usual), otherwise very good condition. Full size. Kruml 10b (Andon 49). Signed Ichiyusai Hiroshige.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Shimadai, grouper (probably Chilodactylus zonatus) and ainame, greenling (Hexagrammus otakii) together with red-berried nanten. Poem by Kanshunro Nushibito. Probably the first edition (Kruml 18a). From the second series of fish published by Yamasho c. 1840-42.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Shunchosai HOKUSHU (Active 1822-32)




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Onoe Kikugoro III as the ghost of Oiwa in Irohagana yotsuya kaidan, “Ghost Story of Yotsuya.” Performed at the Kado Theatre, 1/1826. Probably the best known Japanese ghost story and has been made into a number of films. Tamiya Iemon, a masterless samurai, murders the wife he has disfigured who comes back to haunt him until he is driven mad and subsequently killed by Oiwa’s brother. Evidently, Kikugoro’s performance was something of a sensation at the time as he gave a bravura performance playing both the ghost of Oiwa and Koheiji who were nailed on opposite sides of a panel dropped into the river. There are at least five states of this print. The first appears to be that illustrated in Roger Keyes, The Theatrical World Of Osaka Prints, Philadelphia Museum Of Art, 1973, no. 34, p. 108 with the engraver and two printers and the writing printed in silver. The example offered here appears to be a second state without the engraver and printers’ seal but with the writing still printed in silver. Other impressions with different seals and lacking the first three lines of writing and the silver are known. See The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University catalogue, Kamigata Prints in the former period: part 1, nos. 279 and 280. Also BM impression 1962,0210,0.2 which may be the last state.

 

 

Fine impression and colour with calligraphy in silver. Very good condition; full size. Signed Shunchosai Hokushu ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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An original drawing by the first Toyokuni. An hanshita-e diptych for a published set of triptychs with title: Yakusha juni tsuki, “Actors in the Twelve Months.” Shows the actors (from the left) Bando Mitsugoro III holding a pipe; Iwai Hanshiro V with an open book; Nakamura Utaemon III about to write a poem; and Segawa Roko IV with another pipe. They are compared to the months of the year, in this case July, the month of the Bon Odori festival and are also a parody of the Six Immortal Poets. The print published by Yamashiroya Toemon (active c. 1801-1817). In fact this set was published Spring, Bunka 6 (1809). Sumi on thin paper laid around edges onto another sheet. Some pentimenti and also shows the initial hurried under-drawing and with annotations for the finished print. Sold together with the two published sheets which shows the lanterns removed at top, the brazier bottom centre and other minor changes. In indifferent condition. An illustrated example of this complete triptych is in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts.

 

 

The print signed Toyokuni ga. Original hanshita-e by Toyokuni I are extremely rare. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Mori SOSEN (1747-1821)




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A fine original painting, sumi and light colour on silk; 41.75 x 15 in; 106 x 38.1 cms. His life is not well documented but he is known to have studied under the Kano artist Yamamoto Joshunsai (? -1781) before being drawn into Maruyama Okyo’s (1733-1795) artistic circle and his style is more Shijo than anything else. His animal paintings were evidently highly valued by Okyo. He was an immediate favourite with eastern collectors because of his monkey paintings at which he excelled, although he was more versatile than literature implies and highly accomplished at drawing other animals. But his images of monkeys take precedence and he is considered the pre-eminent painter, east or west, on this subject. He is said to have lived in the woods for three years eating fruit and nuts to better study the monkeys and other animals at close quarters. (Even if this is apocryphal it underlines the appreciation of his commitment to understanding the monkey.) Shows two monkeys on a bough beneath a large red sun. In very good condition. Genuine Sosens (and there are many copies) show a great skill in the way their fur coats are built up with hundreds of fine strokes. The box that goes with the painting has an inscription on the lid: “A painting of monkeys by Mori Sosen” and on the underside of the lid is a guarantee by Ayaoka Yushin (a Shijo painter and pupil of Shibata Zeshin, [1846-1910]) signed Ayaoka with seal Yutoku and dated June 1891. The painting signed “Painted by Mori Sosen early spring [=January] 1800” with seals Mori Shusho and Sosen.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Toba HIROMARU (Active 1804-1818)




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An original painting showing a parading courtesan. Sumi and colour on paper, 45.5 x 11.25 in; 115.5 x 28.5 cms. A rare artist of the Utagawa school. Probably a pupil of Utagawa Toyohiro. His extant paintings show a considerable talent with particularly attenuated faces. Another example is in the MFA, Boston, acc. no. 11.7369 as well as there having been two sold at auction: Christies, NY 16/9/2003, lot 153 and Bonhams NY 18/3/2015, lot 3010. Some minor marks and creasing, but otherwise good condition. Signed Toba Hiromaru hitsu. Seal unread.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Tosa, kaijo katsuo tsuri, “Tosa [Province], Bonito Fishing at Sea.” From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshu meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by Koshihei between 1853 and 1856, this being 1855. Tosa, located on the southern coast of the island of Shikoku, was famous for its bonito.

 

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A snow scene showing Nichiren struggling up a snow-covered mountain near Tsukahara on the Island of Sado. The best design from Koso goichidai ryakuza, the “Illustrated Abridged Biography of the Founder.” Nichiren being the founder of the Buddhist Nichiren sect (Nichiren shu – Kuniyoshi being a follower) and indeed the set of ten prints may have been commissioned to mark the 550th anniversary of his death. Published by Iseya Rihei, c. 1831. Like many great landscapes, there exist different states which causes confusion over which is the earliest. The version offered here has the mountain printed in brown. Other impressions keep the mountain white. The other basic difference is that the design is known with and without a horizon line and that there is at least one impression where the un-inked, blind-printed line can be seen in a raked light. It has been asserted that those impressions without are the earliest; however, it seems from this that the sumi block was probably cut initially with the line but the publishers thought that it looked aesthetically better without printing it, and it was subsequently removed. In any case, this is a rare print and most surviving examples appear to be similar in impression. There is a break in the border to the left of the bottom of Kuniyoshi’s signature which could give a guide to the earliest states, but as this is often painted in, it is not reliable. The composition is based on a design in the illustrated book Bumpo sansui gafu by Kawamura Bumpo, published posthumously in 1824.

 

 

Very good impression, colour and condition with splashed gofun. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI II (1777-1835)




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An aizuri (blue) print from a set Tosei bijin hana-awase, “Beauties of the Latest Fashion Compared to the Beauty of Flowers.” In this case kikyo flowers – the Chinese bellflower. Aizuri prints were the outcome of avoiding intermittent edicts promulgated by the bakufu prohibiting the number of blocks that could be used. The aim being to curb excesses, raise moral standards and encourage thrift. Published by Shimizo, c. late 1820s. Three other prints from set are in the Brooklyn Museum of Art, 76.151.13; 14; 15.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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The actor Sawamura Tossho II in the Okazaki no ba, “Okazaki Scene” from Okazaki no neko, “The Cat of Okazaki.” This episode from the famous play takes place in an old temple at Okazaki on the Tokaido. An old cat witch haunts the temple attacking young women. Published by Daikokuya Kinzaburo, c. mid 1860s. Rare.

 

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Kunichika hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa KUNIMARO (Active 1850-1875)




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An oban showing Jiraiya (Ogata Shuma Hiroyuki), a ninja who was able to transmogrify himself into a giant toad. His arch enemy was Orochimaru, a master of serpent magic, who is seen here as a giant snake. Jiraiya kills the snake with his heavy o-zutsu, hand cannon. Based on a multi-volume book by Mizugakiya Egao, Jiraiya goketsu Monogatari, it went on to be a very successful Kabuki play performed at the Kawarazaki-za Theatre in 7/1852 with Ichikawa Danjuro VIII playing Jiraiya. Published by Daikokuya Heikichi, 8/1852.

 

 

Very fine impression. Fine colour. Slightly trimmed at bottom, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kunimaro ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa YOSHITORA (Active c. 1840-1880)




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An oban with title: Furyu saya-e: oiran, “Elegant Sheath-Pictures: Oiran.”A catoptric (mirror as opposed to an oblique) anamorphic print showing a parading courtesan. These prints were meant to be viewed in conical or cylindrical mirrors placed at the bottom of the image. The flat distorted image was then seen undistorted. However, in Japan the image was viewed in the curved surface of a sword sheath. Anamorphosis was known in Europe in the early 15th century and also in China during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Published by Enshuya Matabei, c. 1845. Another impression is illustrated in Edo no asobi-e, Shinichi Inagaki, Tokyo Shoseki, 1988, plate 6. Very rare.

 

 

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Signed Ichimosai Yoshitora ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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The best design from the set Tsuki hyakushi, the “Hundred Phases of the Moon.” The set published between 1885 and 1892 (this being 1886) by Akiyama Buemon. Benkei against a full moon. In 1185 Yoshitsune, attacked by his half-brother Minamoto no Yoritomo, was forced to flee to northern Japan by ship. Sailing along the Inland Sea off the coast of Harima Province not far from Kyoto, the ship was struck by a storm in Daimotsu Bay caused by the vengeful ghosts of the Taira warriors Yoshitsune and his men had slain. Benkei pacified the spirits in the prow of the boat by holding up his string of prayer beads.

 

 

Fine impression. (A good guide to the quality of impression is to look at the outline of Benkei’s face: This fine line started to break down early on. The set was popular and many editions were printed and many late impressions exist. Great care was taken with the cutting of the blocks on this set and only early impressions do them justice. There should be subtle gradation in the sky and the title cartouche has hardly any colour.) Fine colour and condition. An impression that has not been in an album. Full margins. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

 

Status: Available

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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)




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A triptych Ryogoku hanabi zu, “Fireworks at Ryogoku.” Chikanobu designed a number of triptychs on this subject and boating on the Sumida River, but this is the best and rarest. The government in 1733 had a display of fireworks over the bridge called the Ryogoku kawabiraki hanabi, “Ryogoku River-opening Fireworks” as part of a memorial service for the victims of starvation due to crop failures and an epidemic of cholera. This became an annual event.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Minor marks, otherwise very good condition. Signed Toyohara Chikanobu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Kitao MASANOBU (Santo KYODEN) (1761-1816)



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One double-oban design from the most sumptuous album ever produced: Yoshiwara keisei: Shin bijin awase jihitsu kagami, “A Mirror of New Yoshiwara Courtesans with Samples of Their Calligraphy.” Published by Tsutaya Juzaburo, 1784. Shows courtesans viewing calligraphic scrolls. Seven double-oban designs were published in album form, although the original intention was for a larger set. Signed on two sheets Kitao sensai Masanobu.

 

 

Fine impression. Extremely good colour. Centre fold (as always), several very small wormholes and minor marks, but otherwise in very good condition.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing three women washing clothes in a stream from a set Six Tama [Jewel or Crystal] Rivers, this being the Chofu Crystal River (in fact the Tamagawa that flowed into Edo Bay). Musashi no kuni Chofu no Tamagawa. The set published by Sanoya Kihei, c 1847. The complete set is illustrated in The Baur Collection, Matthi Forrer, vol. II, 1994, nos G396-G401 (this being G397).

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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2 vols. complete: Kanjaku tsuizen hanashidori, “The Liberated Birds: A Memorial Book for Kanjaku.” A memorial book for the actor Nakamura Utaemon who died in 1852. He had the literary name of Kanjaku, meaning ”playing with sparrows” and the covers and many illustrations allude to this custom of releasing birds at funerals. Vol. 1: 1st preface , 3pp. giving the biography of Utaemon IV; poem 1p. 3 sheets: calligraphy (in ishizuri), 1p.; illustrations in colour, 5pp. signed on first page Toyokuni (III). Sheets 1-8: 2nd preface, 5pp., remaining pp. text, poems and colour illustrations. Sheets 1-75 with 15 single-page and 62 double-page illustrations in sumi and light colour. Inside back cover: colophon dated Kaei 5 (1852). Vol. 2: 110 sheets of text, poems, and illustrations. 38 single-page and 50 double-page illustrations (many in colour and includes a double-page illustration by Kuniyoshi). Last page, colophon, dated Kaei 5 (1852). Original covers with clouds and sparrows. Some soil and minor damage. One title slip missing and other damaged. Contents extremely good.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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An important large brush drawing in red ink showing a full length figure wielding a stave at a cowering adversary. The standing figure has no sword or armour but is obviously a chivalrous man of great probity. The leaning attitude of the upright figure is typical of Hokusai (for example, see Theodore Bowie, Indiana University Press, 1974, The Drawings of Hokusai, no. 108) and gives movement to what otherwise would be a static pose. Red ink was frequently used by Hokusai, not just on the obvious Shoki paintings (see nos. 160-161, pages 254-5, Timothy Clark, Hokusai Beyond The Great Wave, B.M., 2017) but as underdrawing on figures and landscapes (see nos. 178-182, pages 279-283, Timothy Clark, Hokusai Beyond The Great Wave, B.M., 2017). Red ink and wash on thin Japanese paper laid onto european paper, image area 16.5 x 15.5 in; 41.5 x 39.5 cms. An area not pertinent to the design missing top right but otherwise in good condition. Provenance: Ex collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller (inventory number 23.040).

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A fine original sumi drawing (hanshita-e) of oban size for an unpublished set, c. 1856. Sumi and light colour with extensive pentimenti on thin paper. Shows two samurai in combat. In extremely good condition.

 

 

Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga. Rare.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Nihonbashi no hakuu, “Light Rain on Nihon Bridge.” From a Toto meisho set of 21 designs published between c. 1832 and 1839 by Kikakudo. The set was subsequently enlarged. Shows figures crossing Nihonbashi in rain, one figure carries an umbrella with the publisher’s name. Warehouses in the background and a distant view of Fuji. A beautiful print and very difficult to find in early impression: The title cartouche had a plug inserted beside the bottom three characters of the title on the left. This damage seems to have occurred when the block was cut and over time the spigot gradually slipped out leaving an unprinted area (which is sometimes painted in). In the earliest impressions the plug is hardly visible (as here). Also, the publisher’s seal at the bottom right should be in red, later editions having it in black. There was also an early variant edition with a yellow sky.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible centre fold, also near the right edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A pheasant on a snow-covered pine. Published by Kawaguchi Shozo, c. 1830s (seal top left).

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Minimal trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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A rare ko-tanzaku design, Tsukudajima natsu no kei, “Summer View of Tsukudajima Island.” From a Toto meisho set published by Shogendo, c. 1837-8. Shows a large fishing boat beneath a bursting rocket; Tsukudajima in the background. There is another version of this design with a halo of light falling from the bursting rocket. This impression is so fine, I am surmising this is the earliest state.

 

 

Very fine early impression with strong woodgrain visible. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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An original fan painting, 6.5 x 17.5 in; 16.5 x 44.5 cms. Sumi and colour on treated paper. Shows a kappa appearing from the Sumidagawa and terrifying a man who runs for his life. Kappa were amphibious creatures found in rivers and ponds. Their bodies were covered with a horny carapace like a tortoise, with scaly legs and four frog-like webbed feet. They loved to wrestle and were known to attack humans – especially children, and horses. However, they could be tricked as they were very polite. If you bowed to a kappa he invariably bowed back, and as their source of power lay in a pool of water contained in a depression in the head, this would be spilt and they became immobilized. Laid around the edge onto Japanese board with the ribmarks evident as it has been dismounted from an ogi or folding fan. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga with hand-painted toshidama seal. Good condition.

 

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An original fan painting mounted as a scroll. Shows a gorge with the fast flowing Nagatoro River in Musashi Province. (An area in western Saitama Prefecture northwest of Tokyo.) Sumi and light blue on paper, 7 x 20.5 in; 17.75 x 52 cms. Comes with a certificate from Aoki Shinzaburo (who had a large collection of Hiroshige drawings and paintings). In good condition. Signed Hiroshige with Ryusai seal.

 

 

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Ogata GEKKO (1859-1920)




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A triptych showing the last stand of the Kusunoki Clan at the Battle of Shijonawate in 1348. The event took place during the Nanbokucho wars when the Kusunoki Masatsura forces of the Southern Imperial Court were attacked at Yoshino by the Northern forces led by Ko no Moroyasu. Masatsura fought valiantly against a hail of arrows, eventually succumbing and committing suicide. . Published 1883 by Matsuo Danzo (who only appears to have survived one year). There is an earlier triptych version of this by Gekko in 1878. A later and far inferior reprint was published in 1901.

 

 

Superb impression, colour and condition with extensive burnishing. Signed Gekko ga.

 

 

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Utagawa YOSHIYUKI (Active 1848-1864)




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A triptych showing one of the great combats of the Gempei wars during the battle of Ichi-no-Tani to the west of Kobe in 1184. In the centre the Taira leader Satsuma no Kami Tadanori holds down the Minamoto Okabe Rokuyata Tadazumi. On the left Gennai Saemon Hidekata and on the right Adachi Saburo Munetaka. Tadanori was a renowned warrior and distinguished poet. Published by To c. 1848.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichireisai Yoshiyuki ga.

 

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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A triptych showing Raiko and his four companions conquering the demon of Oe Mountain. Raiko shitenno Oeyama kijin taiji. The story relates how the demon (Shuten-doji) kidnappes young girls and keeps them captive in his lair on Mt. Oe near Kyoto. The great warrior Minamoto no Yorimitsu (Raiko) and four retainers seek out the demon. They inebriate him and cut off his head. However, the beast’s head still takes a bite at Raiko who avoids death by wearing the additional helmets of his followers. Published by Kiya, 1864. An early and very fine design.

 

 

Fine impression and colour with lovely partial oxidation. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga.

 

 

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