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Katsukawa SHUN’EI




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An hosoban showing Iwai Hanshiro IV in a “Shibaraku” role, probably as Akita Jonosuke Yoshikage from the play Mieiko nori no hachi no ki performed at the Kawarazaki Theatre in the 11th month, 1791. The highly stylised and dramatic Shibaraku costume gave rise to some of the best ukiyo-e designs. Originally staged by Ichikawa Danjuro I in 1697, it quickly gained popularity and was included in the kaomise celebrations at Edo theatres. Published by Harimaya Shinshichi. Ex Beres collection, sold Paris 2002, lot 39.

 

 

Fine impression, very good colour and condition. Beres seal au verso. Signed Shun’ei ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Katsukawa SHUN’EI (1762-1819)




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An hosoban portrait of the sumo wrestler Tanikaze Kajinosuke (1750-1795). Possibly the greatest sumo wrestler of all time. He made his debut in 1769 at the age of 19 and went on to record the longest run of 63 consecutive victories, a record that remained unbroken for 150 years. Officially recognised as the fourth yokuzuna and the first to be awarded the title in his lifetime. Published c. 1781. An uncommon subject in hosoban format. Rare.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. A small area of repaired wormage at the top, otherwise very good condition. Signed Shun’ei ga.

 

 

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Torii KIYONOBU II (1706-1763)




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An hosoban showing the actors Ichimura Uzaemon VIII (above) and Segawa Kikujiro I in an onnagata role. Published by Emiya Kichiemon, c. 1746. Another impression in the MET (JP831), listed as Kiyonobu I.

 

 

Very good impression. Good colour and condition. Signed Torii Kiyonobu hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726-1792)




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An hosoban showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro V as a blacksmith forging a sword blade. An unidentified role published c. 1780.

 

 

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Signed Shunsho ga.

 

 

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Utgawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A beauty from a set: Edo meisho gosho, “Five Elements of Famous Places in Edo.” This design representing Water of Kameido, Kameido no mizu, and Metal of Ueno, Uenoji no kane. A rare set published by Kikakudo, c. 1847-52.

 

 

Very fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

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.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Wada Heita Tanenaga (1182-1213), short sword in hand, struggling with a giant python. He was a renowned archer and retainer of Minamoto no Yoriie. Various stories tell of how he came across the python in a cave or saved a village from its carnivorous attacks. From an untitled early set published by Yamashiroya Heisuke, c. 1845. Robinson S1f.8. A striking design and rare.

 

 

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

 

 

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 KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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An aizuri-e print showing the courtesan Nanahito of the Sugata-ebi house, 1 chome, Kyomachi, parading in front of rooftops. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, c. 1835-40. In fact, the left sheet of a triptych. Apparently, no known copy of the complete triptych is known, only this design and the first sheet. Nanahito was a popular courtesan also appearing on prints by Kunisada and Eisen.

 

 

Very fine impression, colour and condition. Signed “Restraining tears”, Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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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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: Available

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Isoda KORYUSAI (1735-1790)




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An oiran, Meizan (or Nayama) of the Chojiya House in the Shin-Yoshiwara with her two kamuro. From a large series – the total not known – with title: Hinagata wakana no hatsu moyo, “New Designs as Fresh as Young Leaves.” Published in the late 1770s by Eijudo with some designs by Juzaburo. A wonderful set. Another impression in MFA, 11.14622.

 

 

Fine impression. Exceptionally good colour. Very slight thinning down two sides, otherwise fine condition. Signed Koryu ga with printed kakihan.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa YOSHITSUYA (1822-1866)




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The magician Ryuomaru battling with a giant dragon from a set of fine designs: Honcho musha kagami, “Mirror of Warriors of Our Country.” Published 1856-7 by Tsujiokaya Bunsuke. A good pupil of Kuniyoshi.

 

 

Good impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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The actor Nakamura Utaemon II playing two roles (out of seven), Nana yaku no uchi, which are: the Manzai street entertainer Tsuchiemon (seated) and Kudayu’s daughter Okumi, in the play Chushin koshaku performed at the Nakamura-za Theatre, 7/1812.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Reserved

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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The actor Segawa Roko III as the Lady Onoe in the play Yanoji Musubi hana no gyoretsu, performed at the Nakamura-za Theatre, 4/1806.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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The actors Matsumoto Koshiro V (right) as the barber Nagata Taro; in reality Kamada Masakiyo, and Segawa Michinosuke I as Genkichi’s wife, Osoro; in reality Nagata’s younger sister, in the play Wakazakari Heike Monogatari, performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre, 11/1806. Published by Hachi.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor creasing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Toyokuni 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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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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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing Miyamoto Mushashi (c. 1584-1645) fighting a pack of wolves in the mountains of Hakone watched by Sekiguchi Yataro seated beside a fire. Musashi was a renowned double-bladed swordsman (as seen here) and is considered the sword-saint of Japan. Published by Kiya Sojiro, 4/1861 and is probably Kuniyoshi’s last print.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Reserved

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Available, New Acquisitions,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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Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1785)




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An hosoban benizuri-e print in beni, yellow and blue showing the actor Segawa Kikunojo II (bottom left) in the role of musume Kagekiyo and Ichimura Uzaemon IX (top right) as Osu…, possibly Osutoko. Musume means “daughter”, while Kagekiyo was the famous general of the Heike clan. However, if Kikunojo were playing Kagekiyo’s daughter then it would be written Kagekiyo musume. (His daughter was named Hitomaru and she does indeed feature in many plays about him.) But in this case, it perhaps refers to a female version of Kagekiyo’s daughter after all and it’s just written the other way round for some reason, then it would identify the performance and date nicely: the play would be Soga yawaragi Soga performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre in the 1st month of 1767. Published by Nishimura, Eijudo han. Extremely rare. (Many thanks to Paul Griffith for the elucidation above.)

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight vertical fold and small expertly restored wormhole near bottom edge. Signed Torii Kiyomitsu ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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