Highlights of some catalogue items

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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.

 

Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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A vertican oban diptych showing a courtesan holding a letter between her teeth. This, and biting a towel, were considered highly erotic and the prelude to intimate relations. Her obi, which has a design of a dragon amongst clouds, is printed with extensive mica added to the grey ground.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Minor marks, otherwise fine condition. Signed Kikugawa Eizan hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Urusa-so: Kansei nenkan shojo no fuzoku, “Looking Tiresome: The Appearance of a Virgin of the Kansei Era [1789-1801]” Shows a young woman playing with her cat from a set Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. The set shows women of different backgrounds and occupations from the Kansei era through to the Meiji era with punning allusions to their situation or mood. One of the three best designs from the set.

 

 

Very fine impression of the first edition with blind printing on the cat. Fine colour and condition with the extra border left and top. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

 

 

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 KUNIMARU (1794-1829)



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An uncut fan print showing a beauty looking into a lacquered hand mirror which she has withdrawn from a lacquered cabinet. Kunimaru produced some exceptional fans, of which this is one. However, his work in other fields is not noteworthy and it does pose the question if there were two artists with the same name ? Published 1827. Of particular interest is the design on the under-garment she is holding which has a Dutch motif of cherubs. Rare.

 

 

Very fine impression with strong burnishing on the mirror case, cabinet and her hair. Fine colour. Small repaired binding holes, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kunimaru hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1785)




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An hosoban benizuri-e showing the actor Ichimura Uzaemon IX as Soga no Goro Tokimune, brandishing a club, and riding to avenge the murder of his father by Kudo Suketsune. Published c. 1768. (The publisher’s seal may be on the underside of the horse.) Kiyomitsu was the second son of Kiyomasu II.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Torii Kiyomitsu ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Teisai HOKUBA (1771-1844)



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One of Hokusai’s best pupils. Known for his paintings of beauties but also designed some fine surimono. An original fan painting showing a reclining beauty. Sumi and light red on silvered paper, 7.25 x 17.75 in; 18.5 x 45.2 cms. Removed from a fan, so rib folds and other minor marks. Signed Hokuba ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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Mino Ochiai-bashi. Mino (Noshu) 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 1861). An evening rain scene with figures making their way across the torrential Chitose River, famous for its fishing.

 

 

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 night scene illuminated by a band of light from a hand-lantern. Shows Ushiwaka-maru (Yoshitsune) battling with the outlaw priest Kumasada Chohan and his band of thieves who were attempting to rob the inn where Yoshitsune was staying. Published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c. 1839-41. A fine design.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1797-1861)




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A fine and interesting original painting, full colour on silk, 11.25 x 20.25 in; 28.5 x 51.5 cms. Shows a reclining beauty looking up at a cuckoo (hototogisu) flying in clouds. The cuckoo is the harbinger of the summer months. This painting, made c 1830, reflects Kunisada’s study, together with Ikkei, of the work of Hanabusa Itcho (1652-1724). Indeed, Ikkei gave Kunisada the name Hanabusa Ittai and this painting is signed Hanabusa Itcho Kunisada ga with seal Hanabusa Ittai Kunisada no in. To the bottom left is an inscription reading “A disciple of Utagawa Kunisada drawn on request [the cuckoo].” There is a small seal but it is undecipherable.

 

 

Minor marks but in generally very good condition. Touches of gold and the gofun on the face well retained. Newly mounted with new box.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Kamada Matahachi of Matsusaka in Ise Province killing a monstrous cat. These mountain cats – nekomata – were reputed to eat humans. Published by Tsutaya Kichizo, c. 1840. Robinson S1e.3. A wonderful and rare design.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Repair bottom right corner and slight trimming, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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The actor Onoe Matsusuke I as the ghost of the wife of Kohada Koheiji in the play Eiri otogi zoshi performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre, 7/1808. In fact, Matsusuke played both the wife and Kohada Koheiji. One of the best plots in Kabuki: Kohada Koheiji was a third-rate kabuki actor who couldn’t find work. His drama teacher, taking pity on him, bribed a director to give him work. On seeing him, the director immediately saw his potential as a yurei (ghost) because of his appearance – white skin, dark, sunken eyes and long hair. And at this he became extremely successful. However, his wife Osoka, was embarrassed by him and took a lover. Together, they planned to kill him which they did by drowning him in a swamp. This gave him his greatest yurei role and he came back to haunt them to death. Published by Tsuruya Kinsuke, 1808.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor creasing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

 

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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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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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A design interpreting a poem by the Lady of Ise (c. 875-c. 938) from an unfinished set Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki, “The Hundred Poems [By the Hundred Poets] as Told by the Nurse.” Published 1835-36 by Eijudo with 27 prints known and 67 outstanding drawings for the set. Shows a mother and daughter or lady and servant at a window overlooking Naniwa Inlet with rice fields in the distance and men working on the roof of the building they are in.

 

 

Fine early impression with woodgrain showing on the roof. Fine colour. Small nick out of right edge, otherwise fine condition. Signed Zen Hokusai manji.

 

 

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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Utagawa KUNITORA (Active early 19th c.)




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An aiban yoko-e print from an extremely rare and fine set of prints published 1810s by Yamasho. Kunitora’s finest set. Hira bosetsu, “Evening Snow at Mount Hira” from a set Omi hakkei, “Eight Views of Omi.” The set employs strong Western elements with hatching and sinuous hills and houses. Four designs from the set are illustrated in The Western-Style Colour-Prints In Japan, Usaburo Toyama, 1936, nos. 180-183 (this design being 182). A wonderful design.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Oxidation on the title label. Signed Kunitora ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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The great shrine at Izumo, Izumo, taisha hotohoto no zu from Rokujuyoshu meisho zue, “Famous Views in the Sixty-odd Provinces.” The set published by Koshimuraya Heisuke, 1853-6 (this being 1854). Shows a group of three young women bringing offerings to the Shinto shrine. A large cryptomeria tree in the foreground and other figures, trees and a torii in the misty background. The main deity of the shrine is Okuninushi no Okami, patron of good relationships and marriage (which probably accounts for the women’s visit). A beautiful design when well printed.

 

 

Fine early impression: Should have applied bokashi across the foreground area, as here. Fine colour. Slight vertical crease in left margin, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831-1889)




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A triptych, Nanba senki no uchi, “The Battle of Nanba,” showing the Buddhist monk Tenkai (1536-1643) chanting a spell, and Okubo Hikozaemon (1560-1639), both retainers of Tokugawa Ieyasu, at the great battle of Domyoji, Osaka, in 1615. Tokugawa Ieyasu’s army clashed with the Osaka army of Toyotomi Hideyori. This led to the fall of Osaka and the death of Hideyori. On the right is a huge exploding land-mine disintegrating a Buddhist stone statue. Published by Ebisuya Shoshichi, 4/1874. Extremely rare: I have only seen one other impression of this design.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Trimmed, otherwise very good condition. Signed Seisai Kyosai and Oju Seisai Kyosai.

 

 

Status: Available

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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.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Jigoku Dayu, the “Hell Courtesan” from the set Chuko meiyo kijin den, “Stories of Remarkable Persons of Loyalty and High Reputation.” Published by Iseya Ichiemon or Enshuya Matabei (this design) 1845. Robinson S35.3. She was a courtesan who found enlightenment through the Buddhist monk Ikkyu. (The fly-whisk she holds denotes her enlightenment.) Sold to a brothel, she believed her misfortune was due to karma and is always depicted with robes depicting images of hell.

 

 

Very fine impression and colour. Very slight crinkling and trimmed close, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNINAO (1793-1854)




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A pair of original paintings: One showing a beauty being followed by her servant down a jetty into a waiting boat. He protects her with an umbrella in one hand and carries food on a tray with the other. The whole scene under heavy snow. The other painting shows a beauty composing a poem. Above a wild goose flies before a full moon. Probably originally two of three setsu-getsu-ka, “Snow, Moon, Flowers.” A theme popular with ukiyo-e artists and originally derived from China. Kuninao studied under Toyokuni and then Hokusai and is also known for many illustrated books. His paintings now rare. Each painting full colour on silk, image size 36.5 x 12.75 in; 92.5 x 32.5 cms. In excellent condition. Beautifully presented with new mounts. One painting signed Kohsoen hitsu with seal Shohzan.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa YOSHIKAZU (Active c 1849-1867)




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A five-sheet original drawing (hanshita-e) showing a parade of beauties before a wicker fence and blossom. Bigyoku imayo hanazoroi, “An Assortment of Modern Beautiful Gems as Flowers.” Nice brushwork on the sumptuous kimonos. Sumi with sumi wash and light touches of red on thin Japanese paper laid onto further thin Japanese paper. Each sheet signed Ichikawa Yoshikazu ga. Sold “as is” with all imperfections, but in good condition.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Kayu-so: Kaei nenken kakoi-mono no fuzoku, “Looking Itchy: The Appearance of a Kept Woman of the Kaei era [1848-1854]. Shows a bare-breasted beauty emerging from a mosquito net from a set Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. The set shows women of different backgrounds and occupations from the Kansei era through to the Meiji era with punning allusions to their situation or mood. One of the three best designs from the set.

 

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour and condition with the extra border left and top. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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