Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831-1889)




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A large original painting, full colour on silk, image size 48 x 21.75 in; 122 x 55.25 cms. A draughtsman of great dexterity with a wild, often bizzare , imagination. Loved sake, sometimes painting under its influence. At an early stage studied under Kuniyoshi, then Maemura Towa and later Kano Chinshin before becoming an independent painter at 27. Adept at highly finshed paintings but also produced a large corpus of spontaneous paintings. Shows a standing courtesan with her kamuro. An homage to Hokusai whom he obviously admired.

 

Highly finished in places but also incorporating quirky elements of Hokusai’s style. Signed Hokusai hitsu-i (“Imitating Hokusai’s brush”) Shojo Kyosai. In very good condition with old double box with an untranslatable annotation on inside of lid comparing him to Hokusai. An important new discovery.

 

Status: Available




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Kitagawa FUJIMARO (1790-1850)


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An original painting, full colour on silk, image size 35.25 x 13.5 in; 89.5 x 34.5 cms. Fujimaro was a talented late pupil of Utamaro. More than a dozen paintings are recorded by him including an example in the Portland Art Museum, acc. number 69.51. His best-known work is in the collection of the Tokyo National Museum depicting Yujyo risshi-zu and another four paintings of beauties in the four seasons is in the collection of the Ota Memorial Museum of Art, Tokyo. Shows a standing courtesan beside a vase containing peonies and cherry blossom. On her sumptuous costume are the black wheels of a hanaguruma, “flower cart.” These vehicles carried baskets with often elaborate arrangements of flowers. It seems more than coincidence that the vase is placed where the basket would have been on the cart.

 

Painted c 1820. Signed Fujimaro with seal Yozan. Newly remounted and in fine condition with new box and futo-maki (thick wooden roll to preserve the painting from damage).

 

Status: Available

 


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Nagasawa ROSETSU (1754-1799)



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An original painting, sumi and light colour on silk, image size 17.5 x 14.25 in; 44.5 x 36 cms. Little is known of Rosetsu’s life: He was a lay student of Zen and a minor samurai. He became a pupil of Maruyama Okyo – the pre-eminent painter in Kyoto – at the age of 25. It is now generally agreed that he surpassed his teacher after some years. There are anecdotes – not verified – regarding his death, his break-up with Okyo and his drinking. Initially strongly influenced by Okyo, but then free of his style, he became highly skilled not only at more formal, finished paintings, but also at quick, spontaneous renditions. Often eccentric and not easily categorized, he was extensively faked in the Meiji period. Shows a reclining female cat who has obviously had a number of litters and a playful kitten.

 

A background of cherry blossom. The rendition of the furry tail and the character imbued in the face is impressive. Signed Rosetsu in sosho script of his late period (c 1795-1799) with seals Nagasawa (upper) and Gyo ‘Fish’ (lower). Unmounted and slightly cut into lower seal. Framed and glazed.

 

Status: Reserved

 

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Mori SOSEN (1747-1821)



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An original painting, sumi and light colour on silk, image size 8 x 10.75 in; 20.5 x 27.5 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 Mauyama Okyo’s (1735-1795) 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 (as here). But his images of monkeys take precedence and he is considered the pre-eminent painter, east or west, on this subject. It is alleged that he lived in the woods for three years eating fruit and nuts to study the monkeys and other animals and is also supposed to have had a cage of monkeys at the back of his house to better observe them.

 

Shows a Japanese Chin. These small dogs are supposed to have been introduced to the Japanese court from China early on but their distinctive features were developed in Japan. Signed Sosen with seals Shusho. In very good condition.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A courtesan biting on a tissue about to write a love letter from the set Ukiyoe jinsei tengankyo, “Types of the Floating World Seen Through a Physiognomist’s Glass.” The glass top right. These professionals who purported to look at people’s features and give counsel based on their countenance were called Ninsomi or simply Somi. This set of ten prints showing different female personalities have their characteristics written up above. Utamaro produced two fine sets based on this theme in 1792-4 and c 1802: Fuji ninso jupon and Bijin gomenso. The clenching of the tissue is always an indication of arousal. Published c 1830 by Moriya Jihei (Kinshindo).

 

Fine impression with blind-printing. Fine colour. Small repaired binding holes and very slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)



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The courtesan Shizuka of the Shizutama-ya from the set of six prints Seiro bijin rokkasen, “Six Poems on Yoshiwara Beauties as Flowers.” One of the most beautiful sets of this period. Published 1794 by Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudo). The centre cartouche has a seasonal bloom, in this case the pink which was the emblem of Shizuka. See Klaus Brandt, Hosoda Eishi, 1977, 51, no. 172. Another impression was in the Popper sale catalogue, no. 138 and the impression from the Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst, Berlin, is illustrated in the 1974 Tokyo Exhibition catalogue, no. 146.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Yellow ground and mica on collar. Signed Eishi zu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)



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The parading courtesan Yosooi of Matsubaya with her kamuro Tomeki and Nioi. Not listed in Brandt. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudo) c 1800. She must have been a popular courtesan as she is depicted on many prints by various artists around this date.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour: Pale yellow ground. Very slight centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Eishi zu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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The Dragon’s Maw Mountain, Bizen Province, Bizen tatsu-no-kuchiyama from an unfinished set Shokoku meisho hyakkei, “One Hundred Views of Famous Places in the Provinces” published by Uoya Eikichi between 1859 and 1861 (this being 1860). Shows a lone figure battling a heavy rainstorm in a steep-sided canyon.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A bust portrait of the actor Bando Hikosaburo V as Samezaya Shiroza compared to Lin Chong (from the famed Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan, “Outlaws of the Marsh”) retold by Takizawa Bakin (1767-1848) in his novel “The Water Margin: New Illustrated Edition” published in 1805. There are three groups of three prints with background motifs of Pine, Bamboo (as here) and Plum, being the symbols of longevity. He is shown with a heavily tattooed arm of plum blossom and his coat is decorated with a design of a large eagle enveloping his shoulders. Published by Hayashiya Shogoro, 1859.

 

Very fine impression. Fine colour and condition. Signed Ni Konomi Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)



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An amorous couple beside a screen decorated with a large chrysanthemum. From a set of twelve prints Keisei higo, “Secret Words of a Courtesan” published c 1822-25. Although coming under the heading of shunga, each print is an abuna-e design, without any graphic detail. Shows a courtesan with her client. She turns to tie the iwata-sash which indicates she is pregnant.

 

Fine impression. Very fine colour. Fine condition.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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The brigand Saginoike Heikuro Masatora plunging a short sword into a giant boar. He is usually depicted battling a giant snake. Published c 1834-5 by Sanoya Kihei. Republished by Uedaya Kyujiro. Robinson S1c.17.

 

Very good impression and colour. The title label at extreme left edge trimmed and slight centre fold, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1812-1866)



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The actor Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Torii Matasuke clenching a sword between his teeth in pouring rain. From the play Kagamiyama gonichi no Iwafuji performed at the Ichimura Theatre, 3/1860. The plot centres around Lord Taga who is disloyal to his wife Lady Ume with Oryu. One of Taga’s retainers, Motome, advises him against his actions and is dismissed. Meanwhile Oryu and her husband plan to take over Taga’s domain so a plot is hatched to kill her. However, Motome’s faithful servant, Matasuke, murders Lady Ume by mistake. The design shows Matasuke just prior to his mistake. Published by Kaku-Kin (Kakumotoya Kinjiro), 1860.

 

Fine impression and colour. Some minute restored binding holes and very slight trimming on right, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Shunkosai HOKUEI (FL. 1829-1837)



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A dramatic diptych showing the actor Iwai Shijaku I as Lady Osuma shining her lantern on the actor Bando Jutaro as Sasaya Hanbei from the play Honobonoto ura no asagiri, “Daybreak Hidden on the Bay by Morning Fog.” A revenge drama performed at the Naka no Shibai, Osaka, 9/1832. Hanbei is an accomplice of the villain in the play, Karahashi Daisuke. The confrontation takes place immediately after he has murdered the fiancée of the play’s hero, Kowari Dennai, by throwing her off a cliff. He makes his escape by throwing shuriken (star-shaped throwing blades) at Osuma.

 

Very fine impression. This is a de-luxe edition of the first state “surimono-style.” The hand-stamped block cutter’s seal “surimono cut by Kasuke” bottom left of second sheet. A later edition missing seal was published by Iden. Fine colour with burnished pattern on Osuma’s costume and the poem above is written in metallic pigment. Fine condition. Signed Shunkosai Hokuei ga with seal fumoto no yuki.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1812-1866)



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A diptych showing the strong woman Oiko of Takashima. The story tells how the wrestler Saeki Urinaga spies her one day fetching water from the river. He lecherously reaches for her only to have his arm pinned down by her as she nonchalantly carries on walking. She leads him home for a wrestling match. From a set Shinsen azuma nishikie, published by Tsunashima between 1885 and 1889 (this being 1889).

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

Status: Available

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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A diptych showing the actor Otani Tomoemon V as the firefighter Kurikara Denji in the play Fuji to mimasu suehiro soga performed at the Morita-za Theatre, 2/1866. Interestingly, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has the original playbill, acc. no. 11.28195. Firemen were usually heavily tattooed demonstrating their masculinity. Published by Otaya Takichi, 3/1866.

 

Very good impression and colour. The pigments have oxidised somewhat giving a nice patina. Very good condition. Signed Kunichika fude.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A triptych from a set of ten: Dai Nippon shiryaku zue, “Short Illustrated History of Great Japan.” Each print is in the form of an unrolled makimono. This design shows the third son of the twelfth century Emperor Keiko, Yamato Takeru no mikoto (Wo-usu). His father was constantly sending him on dangerous missions making him suspect that he wished his death. One such journey was to the Emishi in northeast Japan. On complaining about this to his high-priestess aunt, Yamatohime, she gave him the famous sword Ame no murakumo no hoken to aid him. On his arrival, the ruler of the Emishi lured him onto open grassland which he set on fire. Wo-usu used his sword to cut the grass, evade death, and start new fires to kill his enemy. Published by Kobayashi, 1880. A fine design.

 

Fine impression of first edition. Fine colour. Very slight crease bottom margin of centre sheet, otherwise fine condition. Signed Taiso Yoshitoshi.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A triptych showing the famous battle on Gojo Bridge. The story relates how Benkei only needs one more blade to add to the 999 he has wrenched from samurai attempting to cross the bridge in order to fashion an invincible weapon. He meets Ushiwaka Maru (Minamoto no Yoshitsune’s childhood name) and challenges him to a fight on the bridge. Yoshitsune is aided by Sojobo, King of the Tengu (white-bearded in the centre) and other yamabushi tengu. Benkei loses the fight and becomes Yoshitsune’s loyal retainer. Published by Enshuya Hikobei, 1847-50. Robinson T194.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. A lovely copy of this triptych. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa YOSHITSUYA (1822-1866)



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A triptych with title Taiheike Yakiyama-Goye no zue, “Picture of the Slope of Burning Mountain in the Taiheiki.” Shows the Japanese Daimyo Sato Masakiyo (Kato Kiyomasa), who was a leading general in Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s invasion of Korea, far left, and his men encountering a monstrous serpent surrounded by bats, tengu and flying goblins on a haunted mountain. Published by Kagaya Kichibei, 1861.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. A lovely copy of this triptych. Signed Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A triptych Taira Kiyomori hi no yamai no zu, “The Fever of Taira no Kiyomori.” Kiyomori’s wife, Niidono, dreams that the King of Hell, Ema, is coming for Kiyomori for his crime of burning the Rushana Buddha. His family gather around him and pray but to no avail. He dies on the 4/2/1181. Shows Niidono and her son beside a convulsed Kiyomori. Behind are visions of hell with Ema and figures who may have been Kiyomori’s victims. Published by Akiyama Buemon, 1883.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. A lovely copy of this triptych. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing the night attack in pouring rain by the brothers Juro Soga and Goro Soga on their father’s murderer Kudo Suketsune. They had waited 18 years for the opportunity which came in 1193 when there was a hunting party held at the base of Mount Fuji by the Shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo. Soga kyodai chichi no ada-uchi no zu. In the centre is Goro and on the left Juro. Above, the cloth panels with the paulownia crest of the Minamoto clan. Published by Sanoya Kihei, 1851-3.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming at top and residual glue at edge of centre sheet, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Kaneko Kugutsune (aka Okane, Kane-jo, and Omi no Okane) 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 S35.5. Known as the Strong Woman of Omi, she is credited with subduing a runaway horse by holding its rein down with her geta. She is shown here with her washtub, the wild horse in the background.

 

 

Superb impression and colour. Very slight crinkling , trimmed close and some small wormage, otherwise fine condition. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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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.

 

 

Status: Available

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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.

 

 

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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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 snow scene: Yushima Tenjin sakaue chobo, “Hilltop View, Yushima Tenjin Shrine.” The shrine is dedicated to scholars and is near Ueno Park. 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 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 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 KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A fine original sumi drawing (hanshita-e) for an unpublished print for the set Tokaido gojusan tsui, “Fifty-three Parallels for the Tokaido Road.” The set was published by various publishers in 1845-6 and was a collaboration with Kunisada and Hiroshige. Sumi on thin paper. This is a design for the lower half of the oban print, the top half having the title and a panel with the name of the post-station. Shows Yamato Takeru no Mikoto. A legendary prince, son of the Emperor Keiko. Shown here with his retainers.

 

 

In extremely good condition. Provenance: Purchased from me in 21/11/1975. Rare.

 

 

Status: Available

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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A cho-oban (20 x 6.75 inches) print showing beauties fishing. The top figure has caught a crayfish. Each design interprets a haiku poem in red, top right. A set of 6 prints published by Matsui Eikichi, 1893. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight creasing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

 

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 KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A mitate (imaginary) triptych showing, from left to right: Onoe Kikugoro III as Takehara Genpachi; Ichikawa Ebizo V as Omura Gengo; Iwai Tojaku as Fujinami. The actors surrounding a handscroll that is emitting strong bands of light. Published by Edoya Matsugoro, c. late 1830s.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Album backing and joined sheets, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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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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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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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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 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 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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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