Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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The otokodate Goshaku Somegoro playing a bamboo flute ( shakuhachi ) from Kuniyoshi moyo shofuda tsuketari genkin otoko, ” Typical Types of Manly Fellows in Kuniyoshi’s Style.” A fine set of portraits of chivalrous commoners published by Ibaya Kyubei, 1845. This is the actual impression illustrated in Heroes and Ghosts, Robert Schaap, 1998, no. 59, p. 81.

Fine impression and colour. Minor trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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A fine and rare print showing the diving girl escaping with the Dragon King’s jewel. There were a number of prints designed by Kuniyoshi of this subject which lends itself to fine compositions. She is being chased by the Dragon, fish and octopuses. Published 1844 by Tsutaya. The first issue of this print by Tsutaya was around 1838 – 41 ( with the censor seal printed in black ). However, this is one of the rare examples where the reissue was superior to the original: With gradation on the Dragon and better colouration in the water.

Very good impression and colour. Trimmed round and minor edge wormage. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Yorimasa’s retainer, Hayata Tadazumi, despatching the Nue with his sword amongst thunder and lightning. The Nue ( a composite beast, as big as a house with monkey’s head, back of badger, claws of tiger, scales of dragon and tail of snake ) was shot by the skilled archer Yorimasa on the roof of the Shishinden Palace. One of the finest designs from Honcho Suikoden goyu happyakunin no hitori, “Eight Hundred Heroes of our Country’s Suikoden, One by One.” Robinson S4.6. Published by Kagaya Kichiyemon, c. 1830.

Very good impression and colour. Full size. Slight edge soil. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Shoki, “The Demon Quellor.” The ghostly Chinese protector of the Emperor Ming Hwang. A favourite subject for the Japanese, he is usually shown beating off annoying oni. He is always depicted dressed in Chinese military attire with the characteristic Chinese hat with side streamers and holding a two-edged sword. Illustrated on the cover of Utagawa Kuniyoshi. An exhibition of the work of Utagawa Kuniyoshi based on the Bidwell Collection, Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, 1980, no. 164. Kuniyoshi designed two other Shoki oban prints. All are rare. Published by Kinshodo, c. 1848 – 53. Ex collection Felix Fricke, seal au verso.

Very good condition. The background is blind printed to imitate partially creped paper. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Sagino-ike Heikuro grappling with a huge serpent at the lake of Sayama, Tondabayashi, in the Province of Kawachi from Honcho Suikoden goyu happyakunin no hitori, the “Eight Hundred Heroes of our Country’s Suikoden, One by One.” Published 1830s by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon ( but this issued by Iba-ya Sensaburo a little later ). A wonderful design.

Very good impression and colour. Small restored wormhole, otherwise very good condition. Totally untrimmed with extra paper. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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The grand wrestling match between Kawazo Saburo Sukeyasu ( right ) and Matano Goro Kagehisa. In the background can be seen the first Kamakura shogun Yoritomo and his entourage. The event took place at Akazawa mountain in 1176 and is probably the most famous sumo match, also giving rise to a new manoeuvre called the “Kawazu hold.” One of Kuniyoshi’s great triptychs; much sought after and rare. By luck the original preparatory drawing for this triptych has survived and is in the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden. See Heroes and Ghosts, Hotei publishing, 1998, no.156, p.148. Published 1858 by Maruya Kyushiro.

Fine, early impression. Fine colour. Minor edge damage expertly repaired, otherwise very good condition. Full size. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Raiko and his retainers attacking the enormous reclining hulk Shuten-doji ( “Great Drunkard Boy” ) who is in a drunken stupor. Raiko eventually cuts off the monster’s head and returns in triumph to Kyoto. One of Kuniyosh’s best designs. Published c.1851-2 by Amatsu. Robinson T261. Rare.

Very good impression and colour. Minor marks and creasing but generally good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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The complete set of six chuban diptychs: Oguri ju-yushi no ichi-nin, “The Ten Brave
Retainers of Oguri, One by One.” Robinson S26. Published by Yawata-ya Sakujiro, c.1843. Rare complete.

Fine impressions and colour. Minor marks and soil. Each print signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi
ga.

Status: Sold




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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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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.” Published by Iseya Rihei, c 1831. Like many great landscapes, there exist different states which causes confusion over which is the earliest. The basic difference is that the design is known with and without a horizon line and that there is at least one impression where the uninked, 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 quickly realised it looked aesthetically better without printing it, and it was subsequently removed. In any case, this is an extremely 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 print offered here is printed with the mountain coloured brown and the overall effect is more dramatic than other impressions and appears to be the only such example, being the one illustrated in various publications. The composition is based on a design in the illustrated book Bunpo sansui gafu by Kawamura Bunpo, published posthumously in 1824. Although not from a landscape set this is considered one of the great 19th century landscapes. Provenance: Ex collection Willibald Netto, Dusseldorf, Germany.

Very good impression and colour with extensive splashed gofun ( now oxidised ). Minor marks and edge soil. Small repair top right corner, but generally very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Mitsukuni ( Otaketaro ) defying the skeleton-spectre in the castle Soma no furugosho. One of the iconic Kuniyoshi designs and considered by many to be his finest. Illustrated in numerous publications. Mitsukuni was a principal retainer of Taira no Masakado. After his death his daughter, Takiyasha, went to live in the haunted castle. She was able to summon up the apparitions at will, but the old servant, Mitsukuni, had the ability to defy them until they disappeared. Published 1845. Ex Theodore Scheiwe collection, Part 1, March 21st, 1989, lot 211.

Very good impression. Slight fading. Edge repair bottom left corner last sheet. One or two other minor repairs. Slightly trimmed, principly at top. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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The priest Nichiren having his prayers for rain answered. The second best design from Koso goichidai ryakuzu, “Illustrated Abridged Biography of the Founder”. This event happened at Ryozengasaki in Kamakura in 1271. Nichiren was 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 c 1831 by Iseya Rihei.

Very fine impression of the earliest printing. Fine colour. Extra large margins. ( This design is notorious for having the umbrella trimmed off and/or the title in right margin. ) Very minimal soil bottom right margin, otherwise fine condition. The best example of this fine design I have ever seen. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Gomo ( Wu Meng ) carrying a smoking pot to keep the mosquitoes away from his father from the set Nijushi-ko doji kagami, “Mirror of the Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety”. The set published by Wakasa-ya Yoichi, c 1840. Each print shows an example of a child’s exemplary behaviour in looking after their aged parents. There is a strong western influence in this set. Robinson S13.13.

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

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Rikuseki ( Lu Chi ) stoops to pick up money for his aged father from the set Nijushi-ko doji kagami, “Mirror of the Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety”. The set published by Wakasa-ya Yoichi, c 1840. Each print shows an example of a child’s exemplary behaviour in looking after their aged parents There is a strong western influence in this set. Robinson S13.12.

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

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Doji Yoshiharu ( Horio Yoshiharu ) overthrowing a giant boar watched by warriors top right. Published by Tajima-ya, c 1847-50. Robinson T202.

Very fine impression with mica and splashed gofun. Fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Station 41, Kuwana, from the Tokaido gojusan tsui, Robinson 42. The apparition of the Sea-Monk looming above the sea-captain. The best design from the set. Illustrated in Robinson, pl 49. Published c1845 by Kojima.

Fine, early impression with perfect bokashi on the ghost. Fine colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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The complete set ( two showing ) of 12 prints, tipped-in to a Japanese album, of the set “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Suikoden”. Second edition published by Ibaya Sensaburo c 1845. Very rare complete. Robinson, Kuniyoshi ( 1982 ) S3.

Good to very good impressions. Very good colour. Some slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Each sheet signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A triptych showing Tawara Toda Hidesato riding a giant turtle and escorted by a multitude of fish, crabs, lobsters and octopuses. He is being led away from the Palace of the Dragon King, who he has helped by killing, with an arrow, the terrible centipede, Mukade. The Dragon King ( Ryujin ) rewards him with a roll of silk which could not be shortened by cutting; a bag of rice which could not be exhausted; a cooking pot which would cook food without fire, and a great bronze bell. ( This is the bell that Hidesato presents to the monastery of Miidera from whence it was later stolen by Benkei. ) Published by Maruya Kyushiro, 1858.

Extremely fine, early impression with fine colour. Very slight trimming to first sheet, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Tokiwa Gozen taking flight from the village of Ryumon into the snowy Yoshino mountains. She flees with her three children. From the set: Kenjo reppuden, “Stories of Wise and Virtuous Women”. Published by Ibaya Sensaburo c1841-2. First state with bokashi above. The best design from the set and often reproduced.

Very good impression and colour. Light album backing. Very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Shows Ono no Komachi ( one of the Six Poets ) praying for rain. Title label reads: Ama koi Komachi. This is one of various presentments of Komachi’s known as the Seven Komachi. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon ( the same publisher as for the Suikoden ), c1837. A rare print not previously recorded by me.

Very good impression and colour. Small backed wormhole top right, otherwise very good condition. Full size. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Chusenko Teitokuson raises his sword with both hands in order to plunge it into the head of a giant snake. From Kuniyoshi’s finest warrior set: “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One”. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon c1827-1830. One of the finest designs from the series.

Fine impression of first edition. Very good colour. Fine condition and completely untrimmed: Designs from this set are notoriously difficult to find untrimmed due to them being on slightly larger sheets of hosho than normal. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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A heavily muscled and tattooed Roshi Ensei, one foot on the head of an adversary, lifts a huge beam. From Kuniyoshi’s finest warrior set: “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One”. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon c1827-1830. One of the finest designs from the series.

Fine impression of first edition. Very good colour. Fine condition and completely untrimmed: Designs from this set are notoriously difficult to find untrimmed due to them being on slightly larger sheets of hosho than normal. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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On a river bank a heavily tattooed Senkaji Choo is about to slay the enemy general Hotentei. Above him a supernatural flame plays over the rushing water. From Kuniyoshi’s finest warrior set: “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One”. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon c1827-1830. One of the finest designs from the series.

Fine impression of first edition. Very good colour. Fine condition and completely untrimmed: Designs from this set are notoriously difficult to find untrimmed due to them being on slightly larger sheets of hosho than normal. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A night scene with Kojoso Jisen leaning down from a tree and shining a large lantern over a wall. From Kuniyoshi’s finest warrior set: “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One”. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon c1827-1830. One of the finest designs from the series.

Fine impression of first edition. Very good colour. Fine condition and completely untrimmed: Designs from this set are notoriously difficult to find untrimmed due to them being on slightly larger sheets of hosho than normal. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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A heavily tattooed Konkoryu Rishun heaves an adversary over his shoulders into a boat while floating in the sea. From Kuniyoshi’s finest warrior set: “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One”. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon c1827-1830. One of the finest designs from the series.

Fine impression of first edition. Very good colour. Fine condition and completely untrimmed: Designs from this set are notoriously difficult to find untrimmed due to them being on slightly larger sheets of hosho than normal. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Rurihakucho Chojun, half-naked and tattooed with a sword between his teeth, forces apart the bars of a water-gate. From Kuniyoshi’s finest warrior set: “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One”. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon c1827-1830. One of the finest designs from the series.

Fine impression of first edition. Very good colour. Fine condition and completely untrimmed: Designs from this set are notoriously difficult to find untrimmed due to them being on slightly larger sheets of hosho than normal. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Two foes grappling underwater – possibly Tammeijiro Genshogo and an armoured foeman. From a series ( ? ) enigmatically titled Tosei nama ningyo, “Living Dolls in Modern Days”. Perhaps these are quite literally dolls. Published by Hori Takichi, Dragon 2 ( 1856 ). Not recorded by Robinson.

Fine impression and colour. Bottom right corner repaired, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Makibashira. Sagi-no-ike Heikuro wrestling a giant python in the mountains from the set: Japanese and Chinese Comparisons for the Chapters of Genji. Robinson S88.31. Published by Ise-Yoshi, 1855-56. One of Kuniyoshi’s finest designs.

Very fine impression of the first edition. Mica on the python. Perfect colour. Margins slightly trimmed but otherwise fine. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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A rare triptych showing the fight between Ushiwaka Maru ( Yoshitsune ) and Benkei on Gojo Bridge in 1170. One of Kuniyshi’s finest designs. Published by Fujioka-ya Hikotaro c 1840.

Very good impression: First edition with the strong gradation on the wooden pillars of the bridge. Very good colour. Minor soil and other small marks, but generally very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Takeda Sama-no-suke Nobushige from the set Koetsu yusho den “ Stories of Courageous Warriors from the Koetsu Region”. Shows Nobushige enveloped in a cloud of battle smoke. One of the two best designs from the set. Published by Sumiyoshi-ya Masagoro c1848-9.

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

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Umegaya, Kajiwara Genda Kagesuye fighting at Ikuta-no-mori from the set Buyu nazoraye Genji, “Heroic Comparisons for the Chapters of Genji”, published by Iba-ya Sensaburo, c.1843. Robinson S28.32. O-tanzako format.

Very good impression and colour. Slightly trimmed top and bottom. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Nakamura Kansuke Masatatsu warding off a brazier of hot ashes from the set Seicho gishi shozo, “Portraits of the Faithful Samurai of True Loyalty”. Robinson S78.6. Published 1853 by Sumiyoshi-ya Masagoro. The set characterised by strong westernised effects.

Very good impression and colour. Extensive sprayed pigment to simulate falling ash. Very small binding holes and slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Triptych showing the Taira ghosts attacking Yoshitsune’s ship amid huge waves. One of Kuniyoshi’s favourite subjects and an extremely fine and rare design. Published c.1850.

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

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Hatsuhana doing penance under the Tonozawa Waterfall fulfilling a vow made on behalf of our sick husband. The best design from Stories of Wise and Virtuous Women. Published c.1842 by Ibaya Sensaburo.

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming at bottom and small repaired wormholes at edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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Fuse-hime saving the child Masashi from a thunderbolt from “Eight Hundred Heroes of our Country’s Suikoden, One by One”. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon c.1836. Robinson S4c.3.

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

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)



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An extremely rare surimono. ( I have only located one other impression at the present moment: no. 192, p. 178, Heroes & Ghosts, Hotei publishing, 1998.) Shows Ichikawa Danjuro VIII in Shibaraku role. The voluminous robe and huge mon gives rise to some of the most dramatic and abstract designs in ukiyo-e. Published c.1830.

Fine impression with burnishing. Very good colour. Minimal soil and creasing. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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An excessively rare surimono, no.3 from a set Fuzoku onna Suikoden, “The Suikoden in the Customs of Women”. Shows a girl sitting on the shore, pipe in hand and her tobacco pouch on the side of a basket. Published for the Taikogawa poetry club, c1829. Ex Vever collection. Impressions from this set are nearly always copies.

Very fine impression with extensive silver and gold. Granules of gold ( actually brass ) scattered over the beach to simulate sand. Fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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An uncut double chuban sheet with a title which appears to read: Yatsuatari doke komori, “Bats Blaming Each Other” but given the title “Bats Comic” by Japanese sources. A set of eight chuban prints published by Joshuya Kinzo, c. 1846. Excessively rare. The bottom sheet has an unidentified subject. Unrecorded ? And the top chuban seems to show a [ bat ] parody of the Chushingura. Unrecorded ?

Fine impressions and colour. Small backed binding holes and slight soil to corner. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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An uncut double chuban sheet with a title which appears to read: Yatsuatari doke komori, “Bats Blaming Each Other” but given the title “Bats Comic” by Japanese sources. A set of eight chuban prints published by Joshuya Kinzo, c. 1846. Excessively rare. The bottom design appears to show a [ bat ] Daimyo and female [ bat ] attendants. Unrecorded ? The top chuban shows Sukeroku, illustrated no. 249 in Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Exhibition to Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s Birth, Japan 1996. Same impression also illustrated in Kuniyoshi, Juzo Suzuki, Tokyo 1992, pl. 435.

Fine impressions and colour. Small backed binding holes and slight soil to corner. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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An uncut double chuban sheet with a title which appears to read: Yatsuatari doke komori, “Bats Blaming Each Other” but given the title “Bats Comic” by Japanese sources. A set of eight chuban prints published by Joshuya Kinzo, c. 1846. Excessively rare. The bottom design shows the stone steps at Toba. An impression illustrated in Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Exhibition to Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s Birth, Japan 1996, no. 250. The top design appears to show a [ bat ] entertainer with a [ bat ] monkey. Unrecorded ?

Fine impressions and colour. Small backed binding holes and minor corner soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Figures with bizarre heads from a rare set of prints Tsukumono ken, Rock, paper, scissors by things “tsuku” ( a form of game song ). Published by Iba-ya Sensaburo, 1847/8.

Fine impression and colour. Small binding holes down edge, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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