Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)



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The Aoigaoka [waterfall] in Edo: Toto Aoigaoka no taki from a set of eight prints with title, Shokoku taki meguri, “A Journey to the Waterfalls of All the Provinces.” A majestic set with a mostly beautiful unifying colour scheme: There is probably no other Hokusai set that has the same impact when viewed complete. Amongst Hokusai’s finest work and much sought after. There are numerous Hiroshige designs based on the same location but they are prosaic in comparison. Eisen, inspired by Hokusai, also produced a set of waterfalls in 1847 which are themselves fine and rare. This particular fall is in fact a spillway for the Tameike reservoir seen above. Aoi Hill near Toranomon Gate to the left. The set published by Eijudo, c. 1832. Rare.

 

Fine impression. Fine, unfaded colour. Minimal soil and slight trimming on left: These designs are martyrs to trimming and many illustrated examples are trimmed, otherwise very good condition. (This raises an interesting problem because most Hokusai landscapes do not have a black border – contrary to Hiroshige’s – which do, making it easy to judge the trimming on the latter.) Signed Zen Hokusai Iitsu hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Kikukawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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A triptych showing a street thronged with people in front of the famous department store Iwaki Masuya, giving a good cross-section of the inhabitants of the city at this time. The store specialised in silk and textiles and was one of the most important in Edo having, at one point, 500 employees in its stores. Hiroshige designed another triptych of this subject in c. 1850.

 

Published by Mikawaya Seiemon, c. 1815. Rare.

 

Fine impression. Extremely fine fresh colour. Fine condition. Full size. Signed Kikukawa Eizan fude.

 

Status: Available

 

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Suzuki HARUNOBU (1724-1770)



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A fine chuban from a series parodying the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, this being Daikoku, the god of wealth, seen here attempting to stand on one of his straw bales of rice. The famous waitress Kasamori O-sen (1751-1827) stands holding a battledore on New Year’s Day while her companion balances on Daikoku’s shoulders attempting to retrieve the shuttlecock caught in the kado-matsu decorations using her own battledore. The lantern on the right reads Kagi-ya, which was a tea-house located by the Kasamori Inari Shrine in Yanaka, north of Edo, which was owned by O-sen’s father and where she was the waitress. Considered to be one of “The Three Beauties” of her time. (Given the date of the print, she must have been around 18 when shown here.) The Torii gate is seen on the left. The poem above speaks of a New Year’s fresh gem [O-Sen] and how the trees and grasses bend to her. Published c. 1769.

 

Fine impression: As with many Harunobu, the lines are in relief because of the thick hosho. Exceptional colour: Even the vegetable blue used for the paving stones leading to the temple have not turned except at the extreme left and right. This was a colour used frequently by Harunobu to depict water but is almost always faded to a puce colour. Minimal soil, otherwise a fine example from this period. Signed Harunobu ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An uncut fan print showing the actor Sawamura Chojuro V as Ono no Tofu (aka Ono no Michikaze) in the play Ono no Tofu aoyagi suzuri performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre, 3/1850. Shows the character holding a large umbrella. Published by Ibaya Senzaburo, 1850 (who seems to have specialised in fans).

 

Extremely fine impression and colour with extensive burnishing. Minimal soil at bottom, otherwise fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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The priest Mongaku Shonin doing thirty-seven days penance under the freezing Nachi waterfall near Kyoto. He is helped by Fudo Myo-o’s two attendants Seitaka and Kongara seen here top right. This act of self-mortification is because he accidentally killed his beloved cousin Kesa. Published by Uoya Eikichi, 1860. A fine design.

 

Superb impression of the first state with splashed gofun over Mongaku’s head. Fine colour. Lightly backed and imperceptible centrefold, otherwise fine condition. Signed Chooro Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Kikukawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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An original painting by Eizan who was the leading exponent of bijinga in the early 1800s producing many fine oban, triptych and shunga designs. He founded the Kikukawa School. Surprisingly, given his output of prints, his paintings are rare. This beautiful example, full colour on silk, 35 x 14.5 in; 88.9 x 36.8 cms, shows a courtesan reading a letter. Her sumptuous clothes are restrained in pattern and colour before the excesses of later years and other artists. Another example, not as fine as offered here, is in the Tokyo National Museum and is illustrated in their catalogue Ukiyo-e Painting Exhibition, 1993, no. 72, p. 64. The British Museum has a very slight painting of a beauty by Eizan illustrated in Ukiyo-e Paintings in the British Museum, Timothy Clark, Smithsonian Institution, 1992, no. 148, p. 195. One other fine example is illustrated in Masterpieces of ukiyo-e paintings from the Weston collection, various authors, 2015, no. 106, p. 161. Painted c. 1815-25. Signed Kikukawa Eizan hitsu with seals Kikukawa and Toshinobu. In very good condition having been recently remounted.

 

Status: Available

 




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Mori YOSHIYUKI ( 1835-1879 )




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Shows Hido Hachiro holding the decapitated head of an enemy from Honcho buyu kagami, “Mirror of our Country’s Military Elegance.” Yoshiyuki was a pupil of Yoshiume and designed the set A Hundred Views of Osaka. He moved to Tokyo in 1868. Published by Tsutaya, c 1868. Rare: The first time I have catalogued this set.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Yoshiyuki ga.


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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Shoki appearing in the Chinese emperor Ming Huang’s dream and cleansing him of a fever demon. From the set Shinkei sanjurokkaisen, “New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts.” The set published by Sasaki Toyokichi, 1889 – 1892 (this being 1890).

 

Very fine first edition, fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1797-1861)




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

 

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

 

Status: Available

 




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Kitagawa TSUKIMARO (Active c 1804-1836)




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An original painting, full colour on dark silk, 33.5 x 11.5 in; 85 x 29 cms. Shows a Chinese beauty – possibly Yang Guikei – collecting medicinal leaves from a Japanese spice bush. An intriguing painting with Ukiyo-e elements fused with both Chinese and Western styles. Tsukimaro was Utamaro’s best pupil and his paintings are rare. Painted c 1818.

 

Some loss of gofun but generally good condition. Newly mounted with new box. Signed Bokutei Tsukimaro hitsu with two unidentified seals.

 

Status: Available

 




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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A triptych showing a scene during the siege of Nagashino Castle by Takeda Katsuyori. Torii Suneemon Katsutaka was sent to get help and managed to evade the guards. He insists on returning to his comrades but meanwhile Takeda has fastened bells to the cables on the castle’s exit which gave the alarm and frightens a flock of herons. Katsutaka was captured and died a samurai’s death shouting hold fast to his comrades. Takeda’s troops were subsequently massacred. Published by Kinseido, 1868. From a series Bidan musha hakkei, “Eight Views from Fine Tales of Warriors.”

 

Very fine impression, the rain beautifully burnished; blind-printing and mica applied. Fine colour and condition. Full size. A fine copy. Signed Tsukioka Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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A dai-oban print showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Minister Kibi in the play Kibi Daijin Shina monogatari, “Minister Kibi, Tale of China.” The play centres on the historical minister Kibi no Makibi who joined a mission to the Tang Court in China in 716. He is supposed to have brought back to Japan the game of go, embroidery, and the secrets of the Chinese almanac. Published by Gusokuya Kahai, 1875.

 

Fine impression with gauffrage and extensive burnishing to Kibi’s black garment. Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition, untrimmed. Signed Oju Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Katsukawa SHUNTEI (1770-1820)



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Yamamoto Kansuke (Haruyuki) (1501-1561) overpowering a gigantic boar. Takeda Shingen’s most valuable general and one of the Takeda nijushi-sho, “Takeda’s Twenty-four [most trusted] Generals.” Kansuke was involved in a lengthy feud with Kenshin Tora and is killed in one of their skirmishes at Kawanakajima on 12 Oct. 1561.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Shuntei ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)



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A beauty climbing stairs, the ninth month from a set of twelve. Published c 1813 by Nishimuraya Yohachi. Beauties ascending stairs was a stock subject for ukiyo-e artists. I’m not sure why.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Seki and Kameyama from the chuban Muraichi Tokaido. The set of 56 prints published by Muraichi, 1852. Printed two-to-a-sheet uncut and probably from a complete proof set. Double censor’s seals Murata and Kinugasa and date seal 2ic/1852 top right.

 

Fine impressions with strong woodgrain showing. Fine colour. Very small binding holes in right border, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga on each print.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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Yoroi no watashi, “Yoroi Ferry” from the set Toto sanjurokkei, “Thirty-six Views of Edo.” Published by Ai-To, 1862. Shows the laden ferry crossing in heavy snow. The Koami-cho warehouses on the right.

 

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

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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Taira no Tadamori (1096-1153) grappling with the oil thief from a set: Honcho komei kagami, “A Mirror of our Country’s Renowned Heroes.” Published by Joshuya Kinzi, c 1835. The story relates how the Emperor Shirakawa was perturbed by a monster in the precincts of the Mido Temple at night. The samurai Taira no Tadamori was ordered to kill the beast only to discover a harmless old monk who steals a little oil from the stone lanterns. Kunisada designed a number of sets like this around this date.

 

Fine impression and colour. Very slightly trimmed, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNIMARU (1794-1829)



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

 

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

 

Status: Available

 

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)



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A benigirai-e (red-avoiding) triptych showing from right to left: A young nobleman with a falcon, a beauty beside him holding his sword and another seated smoking a pipe; the centre panel shows two women and a child holding a small falcon; while the last sheet has two women selecting eggplants from the baskets of an eggplant seller. The backdrop for the whole scene is a majestic Mt. Fuji. The combination of Fuji, falcon and eggplant is known as Ichi-Fuji, Ni-Taka, San-Nasubi (1-Fuji, 2-Falcon, 3-Eggplant) and it is supposed to be good luck to dream of these three in the first dream of the New Year (or, in fact, on the second night, the first being sleepless. The following day is known as hatsuyume). Extremely rare: the only impression I can find is illustrated in Kiyoshi Shibui, Ukiyoe zuten, No. 13, Utamaro, p. 37. (The date given here is 1801, although the late 1790s might be more appropriate as the vogue for benigirai-e [probably as a response to sumptuary edicts] was prevalent around the 1790s.) Published by Murataya Jirobei of Eiyudo. Another triptych by Utamaro of this subject is illustrated in Yoshida, Utamaro zenshu, p. 156. A very fine design.

 

Fine impression. Extremely good colour: these pigments are very susceptible to any light or moisture. Extremely good condition.Signed Utamaro hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Shirai TOSHINOBU II (1866-1903)



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A triptych showing Nitta no Shiro Tadatsune encountering the Goddess of Mount Fuji and her dragon in a cave on Mt. Fuji. (Bodhisattva Kannon [Buddhist]; spirit of Mt. Fuji [Shinto].) Tadatsune’s comrades were afraid to enter the cave and the Goddess commends him on his bravery. Published by Inoue Mohei, 1885. A little known pupil of Yoshitoshi who recognised him as a pupil and named him Toshinobu, which he kept until he died. A wonderful design.

 

Fine impression and colour. Minor pin holes at corners and slight centre folds, but otherwise very good condition. Signed Utagawa Kuniume aratame Shusai Kuni… (?) changing his name to a Kuni but unread. This must have been a short-lived change as the name is not recorded.

 

Status: Available

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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An original painting showing the back view of a courtesan and her assistant. The poem is by Shokusanjin:
It is all because of you who is blooming,
flowers and the moon in this quarter seem prosperous
Shokusanjin

This appears to have been painted during his Sori period at a banquet held by the geisha house that Hokusai and Shokusanjin attended. In good condition having been recently remounted. Sumi and light colour on paper, 15.25 x 21.5 in; 38.7 x 54.6 cms. Signed Hokusai sekijyo, “Hokusai on this occasion.”

 

Seal unread: This is a seal used by Hokusai during this period as well as in his later years, but has not been deciphered.

 

Status: Available

 




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Toensai KANSHI (Fl. mid-18th century)




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A rare, highly talented and enigmatic painter who produced only a few masterpieces. There is some confusion over his active working life with differing dates from 1748 to 1780, but he was certainly painting in the 1760s. This unusual composition shows a beauty adjusting her hair by obliquely looking in a mirror held by her maid who stares unnervingly straight at the viewer. This painting is well known and is illustrated in Nikuhitsu Ukiyoe, Collection of Ukiyo-e Paintings Classified by Artist and Schools, Vol. 4 (of 10): Katsukawa school, Suzuki Harunobu and Isoda Koryusai, pl. 83, edited and published by Shueisha, 1982. It is also mentioned on page 113 in Ukiyo-e Large Encyclopaedia, Vol. 2, edited by Japan Ukiyo-e Society, published by Taishukan, 1982. Another Kanshi painting showing a beauty collecting bamboo shoots in the snow was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, in 2014, in an exhibition: The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection.

 

Full colour on paper with mica on the mirror, image size 14.5 x 20 in; 37 x 51 cms. In extremely good condition with double box. Painted c 1765.


 

Status: Available

 




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Yamamoto SHOUN (1870-1965)




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A large original painting , full colour with gold on silk, image size 50.5 x 19.75 in; 128.25 x 50 cms. Shows Shoki, the Demon Quellor, with sword drawn watching an oni escaping on a cloud, upper left. Various Chinese legends exist regarding the origins of Shoki but the gist of them all is that Emperor Xuanzong canonized Shoki, a physician, and in gratitude Shoki vowed to protect the ruler and his heirs from demons and illness. Shoun is best known for his series of woodblocks of beautiful women, Ima Sugata, published 1906-9.

 

In fine condition. Signed Shoun hitsu with two seals, one reading Shoun.

 

Status: Available

 




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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)



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The courtesan Biso of the Ogi House holding a brush up to a snow sculpture of Daruma. Snow from a Snow, Moon, Flowers set: Seiro bijin setsugekka. Published by Kawaguchiya Uhei, c late 1810s.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Fine condition: Full size with extra paper. Signed Eizan hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)



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Winter from a set Furyu bijin kodakara awase, “Elegant Beauties and Precious Children.” Shows a beauty carrying one child and looking down at another with a large snowball. Published by Matsumura Yahei, c late 1810s.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Fine condition: Full size with extra paper. Signed Eizan hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa YOSHIIKU (1833-1904)



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An Ichikawa Danjuro memorial portrait showing Kawarazaki Gonjuro I (Danjuro IX, 1838-1903) in the Shibaraku role looking up at his father, Danjuro babaa (Ichikawa Danjuro VII [1791-1859]) who had died the previous year. It was some years before Gonjuro finally adopted the Danjuro name in 1874. Published by Ebisuya, 1860.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Yoshiiku ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa YOSHITSUYA (1822-1866)



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A fine design showing the outlaw Yasusuke Hakamadare surrounded by a giant snake amidst falling leaves. He was able to disguise himself using the skins of animals and this translated into the notion that he could transform himself into these creatures or conjure them up as in the case of the battle between Raiko and Hakamadare where he invocates a giant snake. (The subject of another triptych design by Yoshitsuya.) From a rare set: Dai Nihon jutsu zukushi, “An Assortment of Magic in Great Japan.” This talented pupil of Kuniyoshi had a penchant for snakes, and produced some striking prints. Published 1861.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Full size with extra paper around. Signed Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Tadasugawara no yudachi, “Evening Shower on the bank of the Tadasu River” from the early set Kyoto meisho no uchi, “Famous Views of Kyoto.” The set of ten masterpieces was published by Eisendo, c 1834. Shows figures running in the rain to get to the tea-houses which lined the banks here where the Kamo River and Takamo River joined.

 

Very good impression. The extremely rare first state of this print has the publisher’s seal in red in the upper left margin. This early state has the kiwame seal in left margin. This was removed on later editions and the seal after Hiroshige’s signature has the characters reversed white on red. Very good colour. Imperceptible centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Attributed to Toyoharu KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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An oban diptych shini-e (memorial portrait) of the famous kabuki actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII (1791-1859). Upper right is the date of his burial, Ansei 6 (1859), 3rd month, 24th day. A long inscription at left on his life. The image top right shows his great-great-great grandfather, the first Ichikawa Danjuro (1660-1704). The other image, top left, shows Danjuro VIII (1823-1854), his son, who predeceased him by 4 years. See Waseda University Theatre Museum, acc. Nos. 114-0330 and 114-0332 (attributed to Kunichika).

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition.

 

Status: Available

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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The battle of Fujikawa from a set of triptychs Toyotomi Shoshinroku published by Yorozumago, c 1869. The set relates Hideyoshi’s (1537-1598) exploits. From humble origins he became the second unifier of Japan who, after 100 years of war, brought stability and peace.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size with extra paper all around. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A triptych showing the great sumo wrestling match between Momotaro and Kaidomaru, the two youths of prodigious strength. Momotaro, on the right, is identified by the peaches on his garment. (He was known as “The Peach Boy.”) A pheasant is umpiring the match (a reference to the companions Momotaro makes early in his career: a monkey, dog and pheasant). While a bear officiates on Kaidomaru’s side (also a reference to the animals he befriends in the forest). Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, c. 1842-6. Extremely rare.

 

Very good impression. Some slight movement of the colours, otherwise very good. Very good condition: full size. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)



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Kusunoki Masatsura killing the magical tanuki from a set of 50 prints Azuma nishiki chuya kurabe, “Edo Embroidery Pictures.” The set published by Kobayashi Tetsujiro, 1886.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Yoshu Chikanobu hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Kobayakawa Takakage debating with the tengu on mount Hiko from Shinkei sanjurokkaisen, “New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts.”The set published by Sasaki Toyokichi, 1889-1892 (this being 1892).

 

Very fine first edition. Fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An original woodblock for printing the centre sheet of a triptych showing Ame no Tajikarao pulling the giant stone away from the Ama-no-Iwato cave where Amaterasu (the Sun Goddess) had ensconced herself thereby depriving the world of light. The block cut by the publisher Moriya Jihei, 6/1857. The block in very good condition. On the reverse side is the yellow block. Sold with a modern pull from the block. Signed Toyokuni ga.


 

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Kawabata GYOKUSHO (1842-1913)




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An original painted fan. On one side a bird amongst flowers and the reverse also with flowers. A leading figure in Tokyo art circles and the last great representative of the Shijo school. In exceptional condition with extensive gold leaf. Signed Gyokusho with seals Shibun on both sides.

 

Full colour on silk, each panel 39.75 x 25 in; 101 x 63.5 cms. Extremely good condition. Signed Kinzaburo Yoshitoshi ga with blurred seal but reading Go Kaisai. Extremely rare.

 

Status: Available

 




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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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A set of six prints: Furyu ukiyo sugata comparing beautiful women to the six poetical geniuses of the 9th/10th centuries. This design interpreting a poem by Fumiya no Yasuhide which speaks of the wild wind of Autumn. The beauty holds a brush with her teeth while she prepares ink to complete a letter. Unidentified publisher, c 1810s.

 

Fine impression and colour. Very good condition. Full size. Signed Kikugawa Eizan hitsu.

 

Status: Available

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)

 

 




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A fine and important painting of the autumn moon at Ishiyama. Ishiyama Temple seen to the left and Seta Bridge to the right with Mount Fuji in the distance. The view is very close to that for the design Ishiyama no shugetsu, from the Omi Hakkei no uchi print set published c 1834 but the viewpoint moved round and slightly closer. The strange rocks which give their name to the temple are given prominence using a spontaneous brush. As with so much in Japan, the Eight Views theme comes from China and is based on the Eight Views of Xiaoxiang. Fine condition. Painted in sumi with light sumi and blue washes on ( the usual ) grey silk. Image size 16.25 x 23 in; 41.25 x 58.5 cms Fine new mount with futo-maki ( thick wooden roll to preserve the painting from damage ). New box. Signed Hiroshige with Ichiryusai seal.

 

Status: Available

 




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Cho GESSHO (1772-1832) and Kazaore YUJO (fl. c. 1790-1800)




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5 vols. complete: Zoku Koya Bunko, “The Sequel to Koya Library.” Vol. 1: 52 sheets; 48 illus. Vol. 2: 49 sheets; 48 illus. Vol. 3: 53 sheets; 51 illus. Vol. 4: 53 sheets; 52 illus. Vol. 5: 56 sheets; 54 illus. Preface, 5 pp. by Kogetsutei, dated Kansai 9 (1797). Artists: Kazaore Yujo and Cho Gessho. Published by Fugetsu Magosuke, Nagoya, Kansai 10 (1798), together with other publishers in Edo, Osaka and Kyoto. The greatest anthology of printed haiga (haiku poems accompanied by illustrations based on simple, yet often profound, observations of everyday life). The anthology was started by Yujo but taken over by Gessho on his death. Most of the work is Gessho’s. This is one of the few books where the block-cutter and printer must take pride of place beside the artist. The most striking effects were achieved by these artisans by imaginative working of the block surface and wiping of the blocks to produce distinctive variations in texture and formless adumbrations of trees, plants and landscapes, all in sumi. Other examples: Duret 464 (5 vols. 1799); Gonse (III), 438 (4 vols., 1798); Holloway 18; Ryerson, pl. XI. Original covers and title slips. Some slight damage to covers and slight restored wormage at bottom of first sheets of vol. 1. But otherwise an exceptionally fine and clean copy with hardly any thumbing on corners. A lovely and rare set.

 

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Manjiro HOKUGA (Fl. early to mid 19th century)




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A large original painting, full colour on silk, 11.5 x 34.5 in; 29.2 x 87.7 cms. Shows Tametomo, a famed archer of extraordinary strength who was exiled to Oshima by the Emperor. During his sojourn Tametomo discovered Onigashima, an island inhabited by devils who he subordinated. News of this reached the Emperor who sent a fleet of vessels to capture him. On sighting the nearest boat Tametomo fires an arrow and sinks the ship and three hundred men. There is a famous version of this subject painted by Hokusai in the BM (see Ukiyo-e Paintings in the British Museum, Timothy Clark, 1992, no. 96, p. 146). Hokuga, a pupil of Hokusai, specialised in surimono. Probably Hokuga’s masterpiece.

 

Silk slightly darkened, otherwise very good condition. Recently remounted. Signed Manjiro Hokuga with seals Hoku Ga.

 

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Shunkosai HOKUSHU (Active 1809-1832)




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Bando Mitsugoro III as Daihanji Kiyozumi and Arashi Koroku IV as the son Koganosuke in the play Imoseyama Onna Teikin. In fact a diptych ( see Keyes, The Theatrical World of Osaka Prints, no. 16, p. 72-73 ). The child Koganosoke resolves on a suicide pact with Hinadori ( shown on the other sheet ) after Soga no Iruka orders the children to be sent to his court to insure the family’s loyalty. Published 1821 by Wataki. ( There are two states known: With and without publisher’s seal. Some embellishments are added and some removed on the two states.)


Fine impression. Particularly well preserved colour. De-luxe impression. Gum and polishing on Koganosuke’s hair; blind printing on the blossom above. Some loss of brass. Signed Shunkosai Hokushu ga.



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