Hishikawa MOROSHIGE (FL. 1684-1704)




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An original painting showing a high-ranking samurai household at leisure. Moroshige was the senior pupil of Hishikawa Moronobu, and, it is said, was the father of Furuyama Moromasa. Sumi and full colour with gold additions on paper. 11.5 x 19 in; 29 x 48.25 cms. This is most likely from a handscroll as the height is correct, and the slight vertical striations indicate it has been rolled at some time. Painted c. 1700. Some slight loss of pigments, especially the verdigris and minor marks, but all commensurate with the age of the painting. The details on the costumes of the two main figures are exquisite.

 

 

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Shunchosai HOKUSHU (Active 1822-32)




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Onoe Kikugoro III as the ghost of Oiwa in Irohagana yotsuya kaidan, “Ghost Story of Yotsuya.” Performed at the Kado Theatre, 1/1826. Probably the best known Japanese ghost story and has been made into a number of films. Tamiya Iemon, a masterless samurai, murders the wife he has disfigured who comes back to haunt him until he is driven mad and subsequently killed by Oiwa’s brother. Evidently, Kikugoro’s performance was something of a sensation at the time as he gave a bravura performance playing both the ghost of Oiwa and Koheiji who were nailed on opposite sides of a panel dropped into the river. There are at least five states of this print. The first appears to be that illustrated in Roger Keyes, The Theatrical World Of Osaka Prints, Philadelphia Museum Of Art, 1973, no. 34, p. 108 with the engraver and two printers and the writing printed in silver. The example offered here appears to be a second state without the engraver and printers’ seal but with the writing still printed in silver. Other impressions with different seals and lacking the first three lines of writing and the silver are known. See The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University catalogue, Kamigata Prints in the former period: part 1, nos. 279 and 280. Also BM impression 1962,0210,0.2 which may be the last state.

 

 

Fine impression and colour with calligraphy in silver. Very good condition; full size. Signed Shunchosai Hokushu ga.

 

 

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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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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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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 KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing three women washing clothes in a stream from a set Six Tama [Jewel or Crystal] Rivers, this being the Chofu Crystal River (in fact the Tamagawa that flowed into Edo Bay). Musashi no kuni Chofu no Tamagawa. The set published by Sanoya Kihei, c 1847. The complete set is illustrated in The Baur Collection, Matthi Forrer, vol. II, 1994, nos G396-G401 (this being G397).

 

 

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

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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2 vols. complete: Kanjaku tsuizen hanashidori, “The Liberated Birds: A Memorial Book for Kanjaku.” A memorial book for the actor Nakamura Utaemon who died in 1852. He had the literary name of Kanjaku, meaning ”playing with sparrows” and the covers and many illustrations allude to this custom of releasing birds at funerals. Vol. 1: 1st preface , 3pp. giving the biography of Utaemon IV; poem 1p. 3 sheets: calligraphy (in ishizuri), 1p.; illustrations in colour, 5pp. signed on first page Toyokuni (III). Sheets 1-8: 2nd preface, 5pp., remaining pp. text, poems and colour illustrations. Sheets 1-75 with 15 single-page and 62 double-page illustrations in sumi and light colour. Inside back cover: colophon dated Kaei 5 (1852). Vol. 2: 110 sheets of text, poems, and illustrations. 38 single-page and 50 double-page illustrations (many in colour and includes a double-page illustration by Kuniyoshi). Last page, colophon, dated Kaei 5 (1852). Original covers with clouds and sparrows. Some soil and minor damage. One title slip missing and other damaged. Contents extremely good.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A fine original sumi drawing (hanshita-e) of oban size for an unpublished set, c. 1856. Sumi and light colour with extensive pentimenti on thin paper. Shows two samurai in combat. In extremely good condition.

 

 

Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga. Rare.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Nihonbashi no hakuu, “Light Rain on Nihon Bridge.” From a Toto meisho set of 21 designs published between c. 1832 and 1839 by Kikakudo. The set was subsequently enlarged. Shows figures crossing Nihonbashi in rain, one figure carries an umbrella with the publisher’s name. Warehouses in the background and a distant view of Fuji. A beautiful print and very difficult to find in early impression: The title cartouche had a plug inserted beside the bottom three characters of the title on the left. This damage seems to have occurred when the block was cut and over time the spigot gradually slipped out leaving an unprinted area (which is sometimes painted in). In the earliest impressions the plug is hardly visible (as here). Also, the publisher’s seal at the bottom right should be in red, later editions having it in black. There was also an early variant edition with a yellow sky.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible centre fold, also near the right edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

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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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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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An original fan painting, 6.5 x 17.5 in; 16.5 x 44.5 cms. Sumi and colour on treated paper. Shows a kappa appearing from the Sumidagawa and terrifying a man who runs for his life. Kappa were amphibious creatures found in rivers and ponds. Their bodies were covered with a horny carapace like a tortoise, with scaly legs and four frog-like webbed feet. They loved to wrestle and were known to attack humans – especially children, and horses. However, they could be tricked as they were very polite. If you bowed to a kappa he invariably bowed back, and as their source of power lay in a pool of water contained in a depression in the head, this would be spilt and they became immobilized. Laid around the edge onto Japanese board with the ribmarks evident as it has been dismounted from an ogi or folding fan. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga with hand-painted toshidama seal. Good condition.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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A triptych showing Raiko and his four companions conquering the demon of Oe Mountain. Raiko shitenno Oeyama kijin taiji. The story relates how the demon (Shuten-doji) kidnappes young girls and keeps them captive in his lair on Mt. Oe near Kyoto. The great warrior Minamoto no Yorimitsu (Raiko) and four retainers seek out the demon. They inebriate him and cut off his head. However, the beast’s head still takes a bite at Raiko who avoids death by wearing the additional helmets of his followers. Published by Kiya, 1864. An early and very fine design.

 

 

Fine impression and colour with lovely partial oxidation. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga.

 

 

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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 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.

 

 

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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 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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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 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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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.

 

 

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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 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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831-1889)




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An important collection of original drawings by Kyosai laid into two accordion albums, opening horizontally, 13.5 x 10 inches. Approx 157 drawings ( one signed and sealed; one signed and dated [ 6th October Meiji 3,1870 ]; and one signed ). After the date is the place: Shinobazu keidai Mikawatei, the garden of a temple ( Bentendo Hall ( ?) at Shinobazu pond, Ueno Park; Mikawatei being a restaurant. And the signature: Seisei Kyosai sui butsu rei hitsu, the drawing of Amida painted when drunk. Some drawings are from life, others seem to be memory drawings of his work, but most are preliminary ideas for books, prints or paintings. Many of Kyosai’s favourite subjects are represented including: skeletons, onis and cats. Drawings on this scale, spontaneous and with no need to impress, give a better insight into the mind of an artist, and on almost every page Kyosai’s humour shines through. Of particular delight are a group of drawings showing men on horseback playing some Japanese variation of polo, and a sheet recording new-born, still blind rats.

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A fine original sumi drawing (hanshita-e) of oban size for an unpublished set: Eiyu kumiuchi zu, “Collection of Heroes in Combat.” Has a date seal for 1856. Sumi and light colour with pentimenti on thin paper. Shows the protagonists Satsuma no Kami Tadanori, a famous general of the Taira Clan, in combat with Okabe Rokuyata Tadasumi of the Minamoto Clan during the Genpei wars of 1180-1185.

 

 

In extremely good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga. Rare.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A snow scene: Yushima Tenjin sakaue chobo, “Hilltop View, Yushima Tenjin Shrine.” The shrine is dedicated to scholars and is near Ueno Park. From the set Meisho Edo hyakkei, “One Hundred Views of Edo.” The set published by Uoya Eikichi 1856-58 (this being 1856). The set comprises 118 prints by Hiroshige and another by Hiroshige II. However, three prints are dated 10/1858, the month following Hiroshige’s death, and these are thought to be by Hiroshige II as well. They are: Ueno Yamashita, Ichigaya Hachiman and Bikunibashi.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A night scene illuminated by a band of light from a hand-lantern. Shows Ushiwaka-maru (Yoshitsune) battling with the outlaw priest Kumasada Chohan and his band of thieves who were attempting to rob the inn where Yoshitsune was staying. Published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c. 1839-41. A fine design.

 

 

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

 

 

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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.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Jigoku Dayu, the “Hell Courtesan” 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 S35.3. She was a courtesan who found enlightenment through the Buddhist monk Ikkyu. (The fly-whisk she holds denotes her enlightenment.) Sold to a brothel, she believed her misfortune was due to karma and is always depicted with robes depicting images of hell.

 

 

Very fine impression and colour. Very slight crinkling and trimmed close, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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Utagawa YOSHIKAZU (Active c 1849-1867)




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Kato Kiyomasa (aka Masakiyo, 1562-1611) hunting man-eating tigers with his cohorts in Korea. Masakiyo ko toragari no zu. Kiyomasa had two expeditions to Korea in 1592 and 1597. Published by Hiranoya Shinzo, 1861.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichikawa Yoshikazu ga.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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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