Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1864)




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A triptych with title: Furyu nuno zarashi, “Elegant Drying Clothes.” Shows six beauties washing, pounding and fulling cloth in one of the Crystal rivers. A connotation to draw from the six figures would seem to indicate the Six Tama Rivers – a popular subject in Ukiyo-e. The public seemed particularly curious about these beauties who washed clothing in streams, as well as the women and girls, oharame, who went into Kyoto to sell firewood and charcoal, also awabi divers. Nunozarashi was also the name of a dance that involved streamers of cloth being swirled around. There was a history of painting the Tamagawa rivers going back to at least the mid 17th century, and it was also a popular subject for poets. These “crystal” rivers or streams were indeed clear and unpolluted at this time and there would have been an abundance of fish as well. Published by Izumiya Ichibei, c.1811-18. Rare.

 

 

Superb impression, colour and condition. On heavy de-luxe hosho. Signed Kikugawa Eizan hitsu.

 

 

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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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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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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A pheasant on a snow-covered pine. Published by Kawaguchi Shozo, c. 1830s (seal top left).

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Minimal trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.

 

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A design interpreting a poem by the Lady of Ise (c. 875-c. 938) from an unfinished set Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki, “The Hundred Poems [By the Hundred Poets] as Told by the Nurse.” Published 1835-36 by Eijudo with 27 prints known and 67 outstanding drawings for the set. Shows a mother and daughter or lady and servant at a window overlooking Naniwa Inlet with rice fields in the distance and men working on the roof of the building they are in.

 

 

Fine early impression with woodgrain showing on the roof. Fine colour. Small nick out of right edge, otherwise fine condition. Signed Zen Hokusai manji.

 

 

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.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Shono, haku-u, “Sudden Shower at Shono” from Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi, “Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road.” The set published by Hoeido (Takenouchi Magohachi)/Senkakudo, c. 1833-4. Together with Kambara, one of Hiroshige’s most celebrated designs, discussed and illustrated extensively. This is the very rare first edition: The waves of bamboo beautifully graded and strong woodgrain evident on the house roofs bottom right. See Sebastian Izzard, Hiroshige, The Ukiyo-e Society of America, 1983, nos. 17a-e for illustrations and a description of the various states. Although the area had thick groves of bamboo growing along the Suzuka River, there was nowhere that exactly matches the design.

 

 

Fine impression of the first edition with subtle gradation. Seals and green a little faded, otherwise very good colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

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Shotei HOKUJU (1763-1825)




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Shimosa Choshi no ura katsuo tsuribune, “Fishing for Bonito in Choshi Bay in Shimosa Province.” Hokuju, a pupil of Hokusai, produced a number of these fine “westernized” landscapes designed with stylised clouds, cubistic mountains and shadows cast by figures. This is one of the best. Bonito is a favourite fish in Japan where it is in the markets from around May each year. Choshin Bay has always produced the largest seafood catch in Japan. Hokuju produced a substantial body of work in this vein. However, he was not the only one. Okyo, Toyoharu, Hokusai, Kunitora, Kuninao and Shinsai also designed prints in this genre, as well as other artists producing examples. Interestingly, Hiroshige, the pre-eminent landscape artist, designed nothing like this. Indeed, the influences flowed the other way before too long, Hiroshige being a favourite of the Impressionists. This is the rare first edition published by Eijudo, c. 1820. His landscapes were republished by Yamamoto. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Very good condition. Full size. Signed Shotei Hokuju ga.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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Kashu Kanazawa Daijo-ji. Kashu (Kaga) 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 the famous Zen temple. The mountains behind shrouded in mist, beautifully conveyed by expert wiping of the blocks in Shijo-style. One of my favourite landscape prints.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNINAO (1793-1854)




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A pair of original paintings: One showing a beauty being followed by her servant down a jetty into a waiting boat. He protects her with an umbrella in one hand and carries food on a tray with the other. The whole scene under heavy snow. The other painting shows a beauty composing a poem. Above a wild goose flies before a full moon. Probably originally two of three setsu-getsu-ka, “Snow, Moon, Flowers.” A theme popular with ukiyo-e artists and originally derived from China. Kuninao studied under Toyokuni and then Hokusai and is also known for many illustrated books. His paintings now rare. Each painting full colour on silk, image size 36.5 x 12.75 in; 92.5 x 32.5 cms. In excellent condition. Beautifully presented with new mounts. One painting signed Kohsoen hitsu with seal Shohzan.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An original fan painting mounted as a scroll. Shows a gorge with the fast flowing Nagatoro River in Musashi Province. (An area in western Saitama Prefecture northwest of Tokyo.) Sumi and light blue on paper, 7 x 20.5 in; 17.75 x 52 cms. Comes with a certificate from Aoki Shinzaburo (who had a large collection of Hiroshige drawings and paintings). In good condition. Signed Hiroshige with Ryusai seal.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Tamiya Boutaro from a set Kokoku nijushiko, “The Twenty-four Accomplishments in Imperial Japan.” Shows the spirit of the tengu helping Tamiya Boutaro Munechika avenge his father’s death. The set published by Tsuda Genshichi 1881-87 (this being 1881).

 

 

Fine impression: This is the first edition. It was republished by Matsuki Heikichi with altered signatures and other changes and inferior printing. Fine colour and condition. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi 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 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.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa SADAFUSA (Active 1830s – 1840s)




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An original sumi woodblock for two chuban prints from a Kanadehon Chushingura set. The upper design being Act VII, the tea-house Ichiriki, Kyoto with Yuranosuke; the lower showing Act VIII, the bridal journey with Konami and her daughter Tonase on the Tokaido Road. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing a figure in the centre painting Otsu-e pictures which float up and materialise as the actual characters. Toki ni Otsu-e kitai no maremono, “Popular Otsu-e Paintings for the Times: A long-awaited Rarity.” In fact, this is a self-portrait of Kuniyoshi. He is shown with one of his many cats watching him and his kiri seal fan to his left. Tantalizingly, Kuniyoshi partially covers his face with a painting. There are few images of Kuniyoshi. Published by Minatoya Kohei, c 1848.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight crinckling of paper, otherwise very good condition. Signed ichiyusai Kuniyoshi 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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Katsukawa SHUN’EI




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

 

 

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

 

 

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Katsukawa SHUN’EI (1762-1819)




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

 

 

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

 

 

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Torii KIYONOBU II (1706-1763)




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

 

 

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

 

 

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Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726-1792)




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

 

 

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

 

 

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Utgawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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

 

 

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

 

 

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Utgawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Kurodai, black sea bream (Acantho pagus schlegeli) and akadai, red bream (Pagus tumifrons) together with bamboo shoots and Japanese pepper. Poems by Tomigaki Uchiyasu and Kaoan Hoshi. From the first series of ten plus one prints published by Eijudo, c. 1832-34. The set was issued privately for a poetry group (probably the Shingyoku Circle) with judges’ names and extra poems. These prints are of the utmost rarity as probably only enough for the Circle were printed and they seldom come onto the market.

 

 

Fine, early impression before the grey block defect on the tail of the black sea bream. Fine colour. Slight centre fold (as usual), otherwise very good condition. Full size. Kruml 10b (Andon 49). Signed Ichiyusai Hiroshige.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Kamada Matahachi of Matsusaka in Ise Province killing a monstrous cat. These mountain cats – nekomata – were reputed to eat humans. Published by Tsutaya Kichizo, c. 1840. Robinson S1e.3. A wonderful and rare design.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Repair bottom right corner and slight trimming, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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

 

 

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

 

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Urusa-so: Kansei nenkan shojo no fuzoku, “Looking Tiresome: The Appearance of a Virgin of the Kansei Era [1789-1801]” Shows a young woman playing with her cat from a set Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. The set shows women of different backgrounds and occupations from the Kansei era through to the Meiji era with punning allusions to their situation or mood. One of the three best designs from the set.

 

 

Very fine impression of the first edition with blind printing on the cat. Fine colour and condition with the extra border left and top. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Kayu-so: Kaei nenken kakoi-mono no fuzoku, “Looking Itchy: The Appearance of a Kept Woman of the Kaei era [1848-1854]. Shows a bare-breasted beauty emerging from a mosquito net from a set Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. The set shows women of different backgrounds and occupations from the Kansei era through to the Meiji era with punning allusions to their situation or mood. One of the three best designs from the set.

 

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour and condition with the extra border left and top. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

 

 

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Isoda KORYUSAI (1735-1790)




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

 

 

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

 

 

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Utagawa YOSHITSUYA (1822-1866)




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

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Reserved

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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

 

 

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

 

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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

 

 

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

 

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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The actor Onoe Matsusuke I as the ghost of the wife of Kohada Koheiji in the play Eiri otogi zoshi performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre, 7/1808. In fact, Matsusuke played both the wife and Kohada Koheiji. One of the best plots in Kabuki: Kohada Koheiji was a third-rate kabuki actor who couldn’t find work. His drama teacher, taking pity on him, bribed a director to give him work. On seeing him, the director immediately saw his potential as a yurei (ghost) because of his appearance – white skin, dark, sunken eyes and long hair. And at this he became extremely successful. However, his wife Osoka, was embarrassed by him and took a lover. Together, they planned to kill him which they did by drowning him in a swamp. This gave him his greatest yurei role and he came back to haunt them to death. Published by Tsuruya Kinsuke, 1808.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

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Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831-1889)




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A triptych, Nanba senki no uchi, “The Battle of Nanba,” showing the Buddhist monk Tenkai (1536-1643) chanting a spell, and Okubo Hikozaemon (1560-1639), both retainers of Tokugawa Ieyasu, at the great battle of Domyoji, Osaka, in 1615. Tokugawa Ieyasu’s army clashed with the Osaka army of Toyotomi Hideyori. This led to the fall of Osaka and the death of Hideyori. On the right is a huge exploding land-mine disintegrating a Buddhist stone statue. Published by Ebisuya Shoshichi, 4/1874. Extremely rare: I have only seen one other impression of this design.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Trimmed, otherwise very good condition. Signed Seisai Kyosai and Oju Seisai Kyosai.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Reserved

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Available, New Acquisitions,Ogata GEKKO (1859-1920)




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A triptych showing the last stand of the Kusunoki Clan at the Battle of Shijonawate in 1348. The event took place during the Nanbokucho wars when the Kusunoki Masatsura forces of the Southern Imperial Court were attacked at Yoshino by the Northern forces led by Ko no Moroyasu. Masatsura fought valiantly against a hail of arrows, eventually succumbing and committing suicide. . Published 1883 by Matsuo Danzo (who only appears to have survived one year). There is an earlier triptych version of this by Gekko in 1878. A later and far inferior reprint was published in 1901.

 

 

Superb impression, colour and condition with extensive burnishing. Signed Gekko ga.

 

 

Status: Available

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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.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)




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Nikko Shimofuri no taki, “Shimofuri Waterfall in Nikko” from Shokoku meisho hyakkei, 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).

 

 

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

 

 

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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