Mori SOSEN (1747-1821)




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A fine original painting, sumi and light colour on silk; 41.75 x 15 in; 106 x 38.1 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 Maruyama Okyo’s (1733-1795) 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. But his images of monkeys take precedence and he is considered the pre-eminent painter, east or west, on this subject. He is said to have lived in the woods for three years eating fruit and nuts to better study the monkeys and other animals at close quarters. (Even if this is apocryphal it underlines the appreciation of his commitment to understanding the monkey.) Shows two monkeys on a bough beneath a large red sun. In very good condition. Genuine Sosens (and there are many copies) show a great skill in the way their fur coats are built up with hundreds of fine strokes. The box that goes with the painting has an inscription on the lid: “A painting of monkeys by Mori Sosen” and on the underside of the lid is a guarantee by Ayaoka Yushin (a Shijo painter and pupil of Shibata Zeshin, [1846-1910]) signed Ayaoka with seal Yutoku and dated June 1891. The painting signed “Painted by Mori Sosen early spring [=January] 1800” with seals Mori Shusho and Sosen.

 

 

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Toba HIROMARU (Active 1804-1818)




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An original painting showing a parading courtesan. Sumi and colour on paper, 45.5 x 11.25 in; 115.5 x 28.5 cms. A rare artist of the Utagawa school. Probably a pupil of Utagawa Toyohiro. His extant paintings show a considerable talent with particularly attenuated faces. Another example is in the MFA, Boston, acc. no. 11.7369 as well as there having been two sold at auction: Christies, NY 16/9/2003, lot 153 and Bonhams NY 18/3/2015, lot 3010. Some minor marks and creasing, but otherwise good condition. Signed Toba Hiromaru hitsu. Seal unread.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Tosa, kaijo katsuo tsuri, “Tosa [Province], Bonito Fishing at Sea.” From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshu meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by Koshihei between 1853 and 1856, this being 1855. Tosa, located on the southern coast of the island of Shikoku, was famous for its bonito.

 

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A snow scene showing 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.” Nichiren being 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 by Iseya Rihei, c. 1831. Like many great landscapes, there exist different states which causes confusion over which is the earliest. The version offered here has the mountain printed in brown. Other impressions keep the mountain white. The other basic difference is that the design is known with and without a horizon line and that there is at least one impression where the un-inked, 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 thought that it looked aesthetically better without printing it, and it was subsequently removed. In any case, this is a 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 composition is based on a design in the illustrated book Bumpo sansui gafu by Kawamura Bumpo, published posthumously in 1824.

 

 

Very good impression, colour and condition with splashed gofun. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi hitsu.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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Utagawa TOYOHIRO (1773-1828)




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An oban print with title: Ryukyujin no zu, “Pictures of People from Ryukyu.” (A chain of Japanese islands stretching southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan.) The Ryukyuans had a specific culture, one element of which was to select young boys (gakudoji) from the upper classes of the capital to be apprenticed to perform as women in dances during the processionals to Edo. These processions of feudal lords, often with elaborate retinues, were required by the Shogun and were a way of keeping the lords submissive and cash-strapped as the journeys were extremely expensive. The gakudoji are usually shown riding a white horse with an attendant holding a large umbrella (a colourful parasol in this case). Another (heavily trimmed) design from this set is in the Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. Toyohiro seems to have had a particular interest in these boys as he designed a number of other prints on this subject. Of the utmost rarity: I have not seen another print from this set in 50 years of dealing. Published by Shimizu, c. 1804.

 

 

Fine impression and colour with strong yellow ground. Possibly slightly trimmed (?), otherwise very good condition. Signed Toyohiro ga.

 

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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The actor Sawamura Tossho II in the Okazaki no ba, “Okazaki Scene” from Okazaki no neko, “The Cat of Okazaki.” This episode from the famous play takes place in an old temple at Okazaki on the Tokaido. An old cat witch haunts the temple attacking young women. Published by Daikokuya Kinzaburo, c. mid 1860s. Rare.

 

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Kunichika hitsu.

 

 

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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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Utagawa YOSHITORA (Active c. 1840-1880)




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An oban with title: Furyu saya-e: oiran, “Elegant Sheath-Pictures: Oiran.”A catoptric (mirror as opposed to an oblique) anamorphic print showing a parading courtesan. These prints were meant to be viewed in conical or cylindrical mirrors placed at the bottom of the image. The flat distorted image was then seen undistorted. However, in Japan the image was viewed in the curved surface of a sword sheath. Anamorphosis was known in Europe in the early 15th century and also in China during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Published by Enshuya Matabei, c. 1845. Another impression is illustrated in Edo no asobi-e, Shinichi Inagaki, Tokyo Shoseki, 1988, plate 6. Very rare.

 

 

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Signed Ichimosai Yoshitora ga.

 

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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The best design from the set Tsuki hyakushi, the “Hundred Phases of the Moon.” The set published between 1885 and 1892 (this being 1886) by Akiyama Buemon. Benkei against a full moon. In 1185 Yoshitsune, attacked by his half-brother Minamoto no Yoritomo, was forced to flee to northern Japan by ship. Sailing along the Inland Sea off the coast of Harima Province not far from Kyoto, the ship was struck by a storm in Daimotsu Bay caused by the vengeful ghosts of the Taira warriors Yoshitsune and his men had slain. Benkei pacified the spirits in the prow of the boat by holding up his string of prayer beads.

 

 

Fine impression. (A good guide to the quality of impression is to look at the outline of Benkei’s face: This fine line started to break down early on. The set was popular and many editions were printed and many late impressions exist. Great care was taken with the cutting of the blocks on this set and only early impressions do them justice. There should be subtle gradation in the sky and the title cartouche has hardly any colour.) Fine colour and condition. An impression that has not been in an album. Full margins. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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A diptych showing the Buddhist priest Dainin about to kill the girl Umegae. Daininbo Umegae o satsugai no zu, “Picture of the Priest Dainin Killing the Girl Umegae.” From a set of prints Shinsen azuma nishiki-e, “New Selection of Eastern Brocade Pictures.” The priest momentarily looks up at a passing cuckoo. The set published by Tsunashima Kamekichi between 1885 and 1889, this being 1886.

 

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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A diptych showing Musashi-bo Benkei, renowned for his herculean strength, battling with the young Onzoshi Ushiwaka Maru (Yoshitsune) on Gojo Bridge. The story relates how Benkei (1155-1189) wandered around Kyoto with the intention of relieving 1000 samurai of their swords. One night with one more sword to go he saw Yoshitsune playing a flute and wearing a golden sword at the Gojotenjin Shrine. They agreed to fight on Gojo Bridge in southern Kyoto. However, Yoshitsune was too agile for Benkei and had been educated in the secrets of fighting by the mountain tengu. Following Yoshitsune’s victory Benkei became Yoshitsune’s retainer. Published by Hei, c. early 1830s. (This publisher produced many of Kunisada’s prints in the early 1830s.) Very rare.

 

 

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

 

 

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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)




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A triptych Ryogoku hanabi zu, “Fireworks at Ryogoku.” Chikanobu designed a number of triptychs on this subject and boating on the Sumida River, but this is the best and rarest. The government in 1733 had a display of fireworks over the bridge called the Ryogoku kawabiraki hanabi, “Ryogoku River-opening Fireworks” as part of a memorial service for the victims of starvation due to crop failures and an epidemic of cholera. This became an annual event.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Minor marks, otherwise very good condition. Signed Toyohara Chikanobu.

 

 

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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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Hishikawa MOROSHIGE (Fl. 1684-1704)




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An original painting, sumi and full colour on paper, 24 x 12 in; 61 x 30.5 cms. Shows a beautiful youth (a wakashu) dressed as a girl with his attendant servant. These youths (identified as male by wearing a sword) were arbiters of trend-setting kimono design. They are sometimes referred to as the “third gender,” and were sexually ambiguous being objects of desire to both adult men and women. Moroshige was the senior pupil of Hishikawa Moronobu, and, it is said, was the father of Furuyama Moromasa. Some toning of paper and slight loss of pigment, but all commensurate with a painting of this age. Otherwise good condition. Painted around 1700.

 

 

Signed Hishikawa Moroshige zu with seal Moroshige. A fine and interesting painting.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Yamamoto Kansuke striding through the snow. “Boar” from a set Mitate junishi, “Selection for the Twelve Signs.” Published by Ibaya Kyubei, c 1845. (Kansuke was famous for killing a giant boar in the snow.) Robinson S38.12.

 

 

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

 

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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“Flood” from a series Seiu kandankei, “A Barometer of Emotions.” Shows Nakamura Shikan III as Abe Bungo no Kami riding his horse through waves. Published by Okura Magobei 1876-77 (this being 1876). A rare set with some striking designs comparing actors in theatrical roles with meteorological phenomena.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming, otherwise fine condition. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The fifteen year old Otani Furuinosuke killing a giant boar with his bare hands. From a set Honcho Suikoden goyu happyakunin no hitori, “One of the Eight Hundred Heroes of the Water Margin of Japan.” Published by Kagaya Kichiemon c 1831. This is the first edition: It was republished by Ibaya Sensaburo in 1845. Robinson S4a.14.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming at left, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A complete diptych showing Miyamoto Musashi dressed for travelling looking across at Sasaki Kojiro who stands in profile with clenched fist. These two great swordsmen agreed to fight on April 13, 1612, on Ganryu Island off the coast of Bizen Province. The outcome was that Musashi killed Kojiro. From a set of prints Kendo ryaku den “Abridged Stories of Our Country’s Swordsmamship.” Published by Kadzusa-ya Iwazo, c. 1845-6. Robinson S37.16.18. The complete diptych is rare.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831-1889)




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The enlightenment of Fudo Myoo – a Buddhist deity who is always depicted seated on a rock engulfed by flames. From a set Kyosai rakuga, “Kyosai’s Drawings for Pleasure.” A satirical take on current events and mores. This satirical image shows him reading a modern newspaper, his attendant Seitaka prepares meat and Kongara hangs a pot of stew in his flames. (Meat eating was being introduced.) Published 1874 by Sawamuraya Seikichi. A set of 15 prints was planned but only 12 are known.

 

 

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

 

 

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Sugimura JIHEI (Acitive c. 1681-1703)




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A shunga print showing a samurai (his swords lying outside the screen) having sexual intercourse with a courtesan from a set of twelve such prints published mid 1680s. Jihei was the most impressive of Moronobu’s followers and seems to have specialised in shunga, often surpassing Moronobu. (Indeed, Jihei’s work was attributed to Moronobu for a long time.) Hand coloured, although probably not from the period but still with considerable age. Extremely rare.

 

 

Fine impression. Very good condition.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Travellers viewing Mount Asama. Usui-toge yori Asama o miru zu, “A View of Mount Asama from Usui Pass.” From Kuniyoshi’s best landscape set. Of the utmost rarity with most extant impressions differing. This and the impression in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, are similar, without the smoke coming from the cone of Asama (the most active volcano on Honshu). Other impressions are in: The British Museum, 1948, 0410, 0. 108, which has gradation up the left side of the mountain; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, JP 1424, which has gradation down from the summit; and Worcester Art Museum which is similar to the Mets, 1901. 692. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, c. 1836.

 

 

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

 

 

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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 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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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An original drawing by the first Toyokuni. An hanshita-e diptych for a published set of triptychs with title: Yakusha juni tsuki, “Actors in the Twelve Months.” Shows the actors (from the left) Bando Mitsugoro III holding a pipe; Iwai Hanshiro V with an open book; Nakamura Utaemon III about to write a poem; and Segawa Roko IV with another pipe. They are compared to the months of the year, in this case July, the month of the Bon Odori festival and are also a parody of the Six Immortal Poets. The print published by Yamashiroya Toemon (active c. 1801-1817). In fact this set was published Spring, Bunka 6 (1809). Sumi on thin paper laid around edges onto another sheet. Some pentimenti and also shows the initial hurried under-drawing and with annotations for the finished print. Sold together with the two published sheets which shows the lanterns removed at top, the brazier bottom centre and other minor changes. In indifferent condition. An illustrated example of this complete triptych is in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts.

 

 

The print signed Toyokuni ga. Original hanshita-e by Toyokuni I are extremely rare. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A complete set of Kyoka Edo meisho zue, “Collection of Pictures of the Famous Places of Edo in Kyoka.” Fourteen volumes (sixteen books) dated Ansei 3, 1856. Artist: Ryusai Hiroshige ga, with volumes fifteen and sixteen being by Hiroshige II. Compiler of poems: Tenmei Rojin. Publisher not given. Book 1: 25 sheets, 11 illustrations. Book 2: 24 sheets, 10 illustrations. Book 3: 23 sheets, 10 illustrations. Book 4: 19 sheets, 9 illustrations. Books 5-6: 34 sheets, 15 illustrations. Book 7: 22 sheets, 9 illustrations. Book 8: 21 sheets, 9 illustratins. Book 9: 22 sheets, 9 illustrations. Book 10: 21 sheets, 8 illustrations. Book 11: 14 sheets, 6 illustrations. Book 12: 18 sheets, 7 illustrations. Book 13: 16 sheets, 6 illustrations. Book 14: 16 sheets, 8 illustrations. Books 15-16: 23 sheets, 9 illustrations. The monochrome illustrations show the popular life of Edo as well as the views. Original covers and title slips.

 

 

In very good condition. Rare complete.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Kawamura BUMPO (1779-1821) and Watanabe NANGAKU (1763-1813)




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One volume complete Kaido kyoka awase, “Comparison of Kyoka Poems on the Highway.” Three pages preface signed Bumpo and thirty-six double-page illustrations alternating by Nangaku and Bumpo; last page colophon dated Bunka 8 (1811) with artists Nangaku Tseki and Bumpo Basei. Publishers Kawachiya Kihei, Osaka, and Yoshidaya Shimbei, Kyoto. Original embossed yellow covers with original title slip. Originally published in two volumes with the poems in volume one and almost immediately reissued as a one volume work, as here. Numerous collectors’ seals: Tanido Kyohitsu, Seiyo Kosetsu, and Edmond de Goncourt with his brocade binding and imitation wood slipcase. A beautiful example of this fine Shijo book in very good condition.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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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.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Oi, a suburb of present day Ena City, is in the southern foothills of the central mountain range now known as the Japan Alps. Shows a group of travellers heavily protected against the snow and cold. From Kisokaido rokujukyutsugi no uchi, “Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kisokaido.” The set of seventy prints was started by Eisen and published by Hoeido in 1835, but in 1837 Hiroshige took over and completed the series with the publisher Iseya Rihei (Kinjudo). One of Hiroshige’s most famous designs.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Imperceptible centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A view of pilgrims bathing in the Roben waterfall at the Afuri (Shinto) shrine, Oyama in Segami Province. Oyama sekison otaki no zu. This happened during the summer months and was considered a purification ritual. Oyama is a sacred mountain near the Izu peninsula and a short distance from Kamakura and Enoshima. Kuniyoshi designed another oban of this subject as well as two triptychs. Published by Wakasaya Yoichi, 1839-40. It has been suggested that the tattooed figure, on the left, holding a lantern with Kuniyoshi inscribed on it may be Kuniyoshi himself.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight centre fold and expertly repared wormage. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A triptych showing the great wrestling match between Matano Goro Kagehisa and Kawazu Saburo Sukeyasu. The match was refereed by Ebina Gempachi and occurred during a hunting expedition organised by the general Minamoto no Yoritomo in 1176 near Mt. Akazawa. Kawazu was the eventual victor after a rematch, throwing Matano by twisting his foot behind him – a throw still known as the kawazu in his honour. Kawazu was later found murdered – his death being avenged by his sons Juro and Goro. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, 1838-40. An earlier version was designed by Kunisada as well as there being an excellent example by Kuniyoshi.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor creasing and wear, otherwise good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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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.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A triptych showing Shutendoji’s palace on Mount Oyeyama, Oyeyama fukujin shusei. Raiko (Minamoto no Yorimitsu) is charged by the Emperor Murakami with killing the evil Shutendoji who terrorizes the neighbourhood. He and his retainers infiltrate the castle and ply Shutendoji and his ogrish band with sake and dance for them. Eventually Shutendoji is so intoxicated he has to be carried to bed, whereupon Raiko and his followers attack and decapitate him. This is the episode most often depicted with the head flying through the air. Published by Kiya Sojiro, 1853.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa YOSHITORA (Active c 1850-1880)



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A triptych showing Sato Masakiyo, having invaded Shikoku and overthrowing the castle of Shosokabe Motochika, entering deep into the mountains where he battles an army of huge toads, lizards, bats, spiders, cats and dogs. Sato Masakiyo Shikoku seibatsu no toki Shosokabe Motochika no honjo o semeotosu ori kara hakarazu shinzan ni tachiiri kebutsu taiji no zu. Published by Kinseido (Sanoya Tomigoro), 1862.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Album backing, otherwise good condition. Signed Yoshitora ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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