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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1752-1806)




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A beauty reading while having her hair combed from a series of Nana Komachi. The set based on the seven famous episodes in the life of the famous Heian beauty and poetess Ono no Komachi (c 825-c 900). A young woman in a loose yukata is reading a letter that is torn in two while a girl combs her hair. Published c 1805 by Ise-ya Soemon. The Ono no Komachi waka poem reads:


In this world,


Where those who live, die


And those who have died, multiply


How much longer will I,


Be around to mourn?


Fine impression. Exceptionally well preserved colour. Very good condition. On thick, deluxe hosho. Signed Utamaro hitsu.


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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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Six beauties representing the Six Tama Rivers: Kimuta, Noji, Ide, Chofu, Koya and Noda. They are shown fulling, washing and drying cloth. The streams were noted for their purity – an attribute being bestowed on the girls. A beautiful composition published by Omiya Yohei, c 1804.


Fine impression. Apart from the slight turning of the elusive blue, the colour is extremely well preserved. Very good condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.


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Kitao SHIGEMASA ( 1739-1820 )




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A chuban print showing silkworm cultivation. No. 4 from Kaiko yashinai gusa, “The Occupation of Silkworm Cultivation.” The set designed with Shunsho ( nos. 1,3,6,8,11,12 ). Shigemasa also collaborated with Shunsho in 1776 on the book A Mirror of Beautiful Women of the Green Houses. No publisher given but published 1772.


Fine impression.Oxidation of the gofun and orange pigment but exceptional colour preservation for a print of this date. Fine condition. Signed Kitao Shigemasa ga.


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Kitagawa UTAMARO ( 1753-1806 )




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A young mother carrying a child on her back from a set of twelve prints Meisho fukei bijin juniso, “Twelve Beautiful Women Compared to Famous Places.” A scroll-shaped cartouche top left which was probably intended to have details of the view. However, for whatever reason, these sub-titles were removed or not printed: I have only located two designs with these descriptions. Shibui illustrates eight prints from the set, p. 119. Published c 1804, although no publisher given.


Fine impression and colour. Slight soil running down right edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Utamaro hitsu.


Status: Available

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Kitagawa UTAMARO ( 1753-1806 )




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An extremely rare naga-oban showing the lovers Umegawa and Chubei. The courtesan Umegawa, while tying her obi, teases Kameya Chubei with the end. He reclines beneath her looking up with admiration. The couple eloped to his native village of Ninokuchi in Yamato Province. From a set of famous lovers from Joruri plays. Published by Maruya Jimpachi, c 1800. Another ( faded ) impression from the Fitzwilliam Museum is illustrated in The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro. Asano and Clark, BM, 1995, no. 335.


Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. A beautiful print. Signed Utamaro hitsu.


Status: Sold

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Kitagawa UTAMARO ( 1754-1806 )




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Momotaro from a set of three prints entitled Taro-zuki mitsu-gumi sakazuki, “A Set of Three Sake Cups for the First Month.” The three prints form a continuous composition. Shows Momotaro riding a New Year’s hobby horse and a geisha with a shamisen and the attributes of the Lucky Gods behind her. Published c 1800-1 by Omiya Gonkuro. See S. Asano and T. Clark, The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro, Asahi Shimbun, 1995, p.216, pl. 359 ( AIC ).


Fine impression, colour and condition. The colour perfectly retained. Signed Utamaro hitsu.


Status: Available

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I ( 1769-1825 )




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An elegant triptych showing tofu being prepared and other ladies on an engawa with various fish dishes. The restaurant or inn is beside a stream which is heavily planted with flowers. Published c 1809 by Tsuruya Kinsuke.


Very good impression. Perfectly retained colour. Full size. Perfect condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A triptych showing a party of women and a child running in rain towards the entrance of the Mimeguri Shrine. Mimeguri no yudachi, “An Evening Shower at Mimeguri.” This famous shrine was on the bank of the Sumida at Mukojima and a short ferry ride from Asakusa. The shrine is also associated with prayers for rain. Kunisada was the most prolific 19th century artist, but amongst his vast output are real masterpieces. Published c 1830. A fine design.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.


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Kitao SHIGEMASA (1739-1820)




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A chuban print. No. 7 from Kaiko yashinai gusa, the occupation of silk worm cultivation. Shows girls watching the moths laying eggs on a piece of paper. No publisher given but published 1772. Even better known as a book illustrator. Also an accomplished painter.


Fine impression. Very good colour. Fine condition. Signed Shigemasa ga.


Status: Sold

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Isoda KORYUSAI (Active c 1764-1788)




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The courtesan Handayu of Naka-Omiya seated at a writing desk attended by two accolytes. From a superb, large series: Hinagata wakanano hatsu moyo, “Models for Fashion: New Year Designs as Fresh as Young Leaves.” Published by Nishimura Eijudo, c 1776-7. Yoshida catalogues this set in Ukiyo-e, no. 26. A beautiful deluxe print.


Superb impression on thick hosho. Very slight fading of red and expertly repaired binding holes near left edge, otherwise very good condition. Koryusai ga.


Status: Sold

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Chokosai EISHO (active 1790s)




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An aiban showing the seated courtesan Somenosuke of Matsubaya reading a hand scroll. From the set Kakuchu bijin-kisoi, “Three Patron Saints of Poetry in the Gay Quarters.” Eisho was the most successful of Eishi’s pupils. Published c 1790s by Yamaguchi Chusuke. Another from the set illustrated in A Treasury of Japanese Wood Block Prints, Sadao Kikuchi, no 694. Illustrated in Ukiyo-e Taikei, vol. 6, no. 216.


Very good impression and colour. Thinned area top border, otherwise very good condition. Signed Eisho ga.


Status: Sold

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Torii KIYONAGA (1752-1815)




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A chuban print showing two geisha, one seated with a loose yukata, the other standing beside her. Choka no sekisho, “The Afterglow of Late Summer” from an early set: Shiki hakkei, “Eight Scenes of the Four Seasons.” Published 1779 by Eiju han. Illustrated in Images of Eighteenth-Century Japan, David Waterhouse, ROM, 1975, no. 95, p. 149 and Hirano, Kiyonaga, Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston, 1939, no. 185 and pl. XVI. ( Chie Hirano is the standard source on Kiyonaga and she illustrates the complete set. )


Fine impression. Some “turning” of colours, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kiyonaga ga.


Status: Sold

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Ippitsusai BUNCHO (1763-1840)




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A chuban print showing a beauty standing on a balcony adjusting a comb in her hair. She gazes at a ferry crossing the Sumida River in rain. One of a series with title on an ink-cake top right: Bokusui hakkei, “Eight Views of Inky Water” ( “Inky Water” being the colloquial term given to the Sumida River ); sub-title: Hashiba no yora no ame, “Evening Rain at Hashiba.” Ex Gonse collection, first sale, no. 13, pl. 2 ( seal au verso ) and Vever collection, Sotheby & Co, Part II, 1975, lot 101 ( seal bottom right ). Extremely rare. A much trimmed impression is in T.N.M., vol. 1, no. 827.


Fine impression. Some “turning” of colours, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ippitsusai Buncho ga with Mori uji seal.


Status: Sold

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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A high-ranking courtesan ( oiran ) looking over her shoulder. From a set of six prints: Bijin kaichu kagami – Jisei rokkassen: Ariwara no Narihira, “ A Pocket Mirror of Beauties – Six Immortal Poets of the Era: Ariwara no Narihira.” The set compares the beauties to the six “immortal” waka poets of the 9th/10th centuries. The maple leaves on the oiran’s collar identify the subject as compared to the poet Ariwara no Narihira ( 825-880 A.D. ). The set published by Senichi, c 1826-28.


Fine early impression. Fine colour. Very slight soil, otherwise fine condition. Full size. Signed Keisai Eisen ga.


Status: Available

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Ishikawa TOYONOBU (1711-1785)




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A wide hashira-e ( 27.5 x 10 in; 70 x 25.5 cms ). Urushi-e, hand-coloured in beni, blue, yellow, mustard and lilac. These early majestic Toyonobu prints are amongst the masterpieces of Ukiyoe. Of the utmost rarity: From a set of three prints of Beauties of the Three Capitals. Sanpukutsui Keichu, “ A Set of Three: Within Kyoto.”The other two designs show women from Edo and Osaka. The only other impression is illustrated in the Bulletin of the Worcester Art Museum, April, 1915, p. 8. There is also a hosoban triptych of same subject by Toyonobu, c 1750s, in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, accession number: 11.19672. This cheaper production follows the designs of the larger prints closely and was obviously intended to cash in on their popularity. Other similar designs were in the Vever sales, Sothebys, 26/3/1974 and 26/3/1975. Shows a standing courtesan with a pipe, her acolyte holding her tobacco tray. Published c 1747 by Mura ( Murata-ya ) hammoto.


Fine impression with extremely fine and delicate hand-colouring. Very slight creasing and very slight browning but otherwise in exceptional condition. Signed Tanjodo Ishikawa Shuha Toyonobu zu. Seals Toyonobu and Ishikawa uji.



Status: Sold




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Kitao SHIGEMASA (1739-1820)




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Kanzashi no seiran, “Clearing Weather of the Hairpin” from a chuban set Jochu tedogu hakkei, “Eight Views of Women’s Utensils.” Published c. 1777. Another from the set published in the Clarence Buckingham Collection of Japanese Prints, Margaret O. Gentles, vol. II, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1965, no. 21, p. 283.


Very good impression, colour and condition. Unsigned.


Status: Available

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI II ( TOYOSHIGE ) (1777-1835)




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A courtesan with a toothpick and playing with a cat compared to the actor Iwai Hanshiro V ( inset in a sake cup top right ). From a series Imayo bijin awase, shinsei sugatami sakazuki, “A Comparison of Modern Beauties – A New Mirror of Sake Cups.” Published by Imariya Ushizo, c 1820-24.


Very good impression, colour and condition. Extensive mica added to the coat of the courtesan. Signed Toyokuni ga.


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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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Shows a seated lady holding a fan compared to the actor Segawa Senjo ( previously known as Segawa Kikunojo III, inset in fan upper left ). From a series Ukiyo butai-ko Senjo-fu, “Fragrance from the Floating World’s Stage, in the Style of Senjo.” Published by Tsumuraya Saburobei, c 1810.


Fine impression. Light yellow ground. Very good colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga with an unidentified collector’s seal.


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Torii KIYOMINE ( KIYOMITSU II ) (1787-1868)




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Beauties on the beach at Kamakura with white cranes. This is an allusion or pastiche ( mitate ) of the story that Minamoto Yoritomo’s favourite amusement was flying cranes with labels attached to their legs requesting those who saw them to report the fact and fly them again. Kiyomine, a pupil of Kiyonaga, used – as here – the Kiyomine signature on his early work, c 1815. Published by Eijudo han ( Nishimura-ya ).


Very good impression and colour. Small area repaired wormage, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kiyomine ga.


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Suzuki HARUNOBU (1724-1770)




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A chuban showing the courtesan Matsukaze of the Ogi-ya House from a set of prints: Ukiyo kika, “Strange Flowers of the Floating World.” Shows the courtesan parading outside a Yoshiwara house with her two kamuro. One of the most influential ukiyo-e artists taking full advantage of polychrome printing in 1765 and publishing a large number of exquisite prints, often with innovative pigments and on thick hosho. Published c late 1760s. Another impression in Yoshida, Harunobu zenshu, p. 128.


Fine impression. Slight fading otherwise very good condition. Signed Harunobu ga.


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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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An amorous couple prior to coitus. One of the three best designs from a set of twelve prints: Keisei higo, “Secret Words of a Courtesan” published c 1822-25. Although the set comes under the shunga heading, each print is an abuna-e design, without any graphic detail. Fine composition.

Fine impression and colour. Laid onto board from the original album. Small wormage and slight centre fold ( as usual ), otherwise good condition.


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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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An amorous couple on a balcony with a large full moon. One of the three best designs from a set of twelve prints: Keisei higo, “Secret Words of a Courtesan” published c 1822-25. Although the set comes under the shunga heading, each print is an abuna-e design, without any graphic detail. Fine composition.


Fine impression and colour. Laid onto board from the original album. Small wormage and slight centre fold ( as usual ), otherwise good condition.


Status: Available

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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A winter scene with an amorous couple in a boat keeping warm beneath a huge duvet. One of the three best designs from a set of twelve prints: Keisei higo, “Secret Words of a Courtesan” published c 1822-25. Although the set comes under the shunga heading, each print is an abuna-e design, without any graphic detail.


Fine impression and colour. Laid onto board from the original album. Small wormage and slight centre fold ( as usual ), otherwise good condition.


Status: Available

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Looking Itchy: The Appearance of a Kept Woman of the Kaei Era ( 1848-1854 ). From the set Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. Shows a dishabille beauty emerging from a mosquito net. One of the two or three best designs from the set.


Very fine impression, colour and condition. Pristine. The first edition. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.


Status: Sold

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




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An aiban print: Junidan hana no nishiki, “Twelve Chapters of Floral Brocades” from Seiro Niwaka zensei asobi, “Most Splendid Entertainment of the Niwaka Festival in the Licensed Quarters.” The Festival was held in September in the Edo Yoshiwara district. Shows Minamoto no Yoshitsune visiting Princess Joruri. Not listed in Yoshida or Shibui, Ukiyoe zuten, although another version is in Yoshida, Utamaro zenshu on page 162. Published c 1802 by Yamashiroya Toemon.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Perfect colour. Signed Utamaro hitsu.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A vertical diptych of a salt-water gatherer. These girls are often depicted in ukiyoe and seem to have held a fascination with the public akin to that for ama divers. Published by Jimpachi, c 1840.


Very good impression and colour. Sheets separated. Minor signs of being mounted around edge, otherwise good condition. ( These vertical diptychs of this date and earlier were usually mounted onto inexpensive paper mounts. A poor man’s version of kakemono paintings. ) Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.



Status: Sold

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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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Tumekiri yoshi, “A Good Day to Trim One’s Nails” from Hanagoyami kichijitsu sugata “Beauties on Auspicious Days of the Flower Calendar.” A beauty in a bathrobe with scissors about to trim her toenails. The scissors have a small bell which is usually seen around the necks of cats. Published 1844.


Fine impression and colour. Superb cutting and printing of the aizuri design on the bathrobe. Very slight trimming. Retains original album backing. Signed Kunisada aratame nidaime Toyokuni ga, “Kunisada changing his name to the second of the name Toyokuni drew.”



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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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The colour white from Ukiyo goshoku awase, “Matching with Five Colours of the Floating World.” A beauty before a mirror holding another mirror behind her to enable her to apply white make-up to the nape of her neck. A highly erogenous area to the Japanese. Published by Sanoya Kihei, 1845.


Very good impression and colour. Slight trimming and retains original album backing. Signed Kunisada aratame nidaime Toyokuni ga, “Kunisada changing his name to the second of the name Toyokuni drew.”



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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty powdering her face. From Kuniyoshi’s finest set of fan prints. An untitled series of at least eight designs showing young women in a state of dishabille at their toilette in front of mirrors, the corners partly concealed with cloth covers. Published c 1843-5 by Ibaya Sensaburo. For obvious reasons, uncut uchiwa-e are scarce. Indeed, there appears to be only one other impression of this design illustrated in an Exhibition of Ukiyo-e by Kuniyoshi, Riccar Art Museum, 1978, no. 172 and elsewhere ( from the Museum of Fine Arts, Bidwell Collection, Springfield USA ). The other known prints from this rare set are: 1) A beauty applying rouge to her lips; 2) A beauty shaving her forehead; 3) A beauty suckling a child; 4) A beauty adjusting her hair with scissors; 5) A beauty playing with a cat; 6) A beauty combing her hair; 7) A beauty about to brush her teeth.


Very good impression and colour. One small repaired wormhole, otherwise good condition. Uncut. The rich blue grounds on this series have added mica. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.


Status: Sold

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




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Mishima, Province of Settsu ( or Toi ) from a set of Six Crystal ( Tama ) Rivers, Furyu mu tamagawa. The streams were noted for the purity of their water and the three girls are shown fulling cloth ( hence Toi which is the alternative name of the river and the word for beating cloth ). Published by Izumiya Ichibei, c.1803-4. This appears to be from a set – like others of Utamaro’s – that could be viewed separately or as a continuous composition. See Yoshida, Utamaro zenshu, p. 173 for another design from the set. Rare.


Fine impression and colour. Full size. One minor mark, otherwise very good condition. Signed Utamaro fude.


Status: Sold

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