Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The death of the Daimyo Imagawa Yoshimoto (1519-60) by Oda Nobunaga during the battle of Okehazama which was fought at night during an intense downpour and was the culmination of the feud between the Imagawa and Oda clans. The battlefield is now a park and a national historical site. The best design from a set Yobu hakkei, “Military Brilliance of the Eight Views.” Each print relates to the famous Eight Views theme, in this case Narumi yau, “Night Rain at Narumi.” Published by Enshuya Hikobei, 1852.

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size with extra paper left and top, which is unusual as these prints are normally trimmed from albums. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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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.

Status: Sold

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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.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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

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

Status: Sold

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1812-1866)



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

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

Status: Sold

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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.

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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The best design from Genji kumo Ukiyoe awase, “Ukiyoe Comparisons of the Cloudy Chapters of Genji.” A set comparing famous warriors to the Chapters of the Genji Monogotari written by Lady Murasaki Shikibu (c 973-1025). This design is for Chapter 22, Tamakatzura. Shows the pearl diver, Tamatori-hime, who has reclaimed the precious pearl stolen by the Dragon King. She is pursued by a host of his aquatic retainers including a giant octopus before finally returning the jewel to her husband Fujiwara no Kamatari, albeit buried in her chest for safety and causing her death. A popular subject with Kuniyoshi who designed a number of other oban prints and triptychs on this subject. The Dragon King’s Palace can be seen beneath the waves in the background. Published by Iseya Ichibei, 1843-5.

Fine impression and colour. Slight crinckling in margins, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A design from the set Azuma no nishiki ukiyo kodan, “Tales of the Floating World on Eastern Brocade.” Kodan (traditional storytelling) raconteurs narrated Japanese folk stories, sometimes accompanying themselves with wooden blocks clapped together or a fan giving rhythm. The Kodan text is shown above. Having been popular from around 1700 (and known as Koshaku), these performances gained renewed popularity in the 1850s with the classic standards augmented by contemporary stories of heroes and villains. Shows Lady Masao from Osasahara surrounded by curling snakes who force her to reveal her true identity – the Fox Spirit. Various publishers from 1867-68, here Omiya Kyojiro, 11/1867.

Fine impression. Very good colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condtion. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A design from the set Azuma no nishiki ukiyo kodan, “Tales of the Floating World on Eastern Brocade.” Kodan (traditional storytelling) raconteurs narrated Japanese folk stories, sometimes accompanying themselves with wooden blocks clapped together or a fan giving rhythm. The Kodan text is shown above. Having been popular from around 1700 (and known as Koshaku), these performances gained renewed popularity in the 1850s with the classic standards augmented by contemporary stories of heroes and villains. Shows Mukokizu Yosa stabbing Komori Yasu (Yasu the Bat); so-called because of the bat-like birthmark on his cheek. A gruesome scene with Yasu covered in blood. Various publishers from 1867-68, here Omiya Kyojiro, 11/1867.

Fine impression. Very good colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condtion. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A design from the set Azuma no nishiki ukiyo kodan, “Tales of the Floating World on Eastern Brocade.” Kodan (traditional storytelling) raconteurs narrated Japanese folk stories, sometimes accompanying themselves with wooden blocks clapped together or a fan giving rhythm. The Kodan text is shown above. Having been popular from around 1700 (and known as Koshaku), these performances gained renewed popularity in the 1850s with the classic standards augmented by contemporary stories of heroes and villains. Shows Azekura Jushiro slashing Hinotama no Sangoro who is covered in blood. Various publishers from 1867-68, here Sanoya Tomigoro, 9/1867.

Fine impression. Very good colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condtion.

Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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An original drawing showing a beauty with an acolyte. Sumi on thin paper. 14.5 x 10.5 in., 37 x 27.5 cms.

Status: Available

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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A large original drawing. Probably for a kakemono-e. Sumi on thin paper. 29.5 x 9.75 in., 73 x 24 cms.

Status: Available

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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An original drawing showing a full length study of a woman with details of the pattern on her dress. Sumi and red under-drawing on thin paper. 14.75 x 10.75 in., 37.5 x 27.5 cms.

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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An original drawing showing a bust portrait of a Heian beauty holding a fan with a surrounding motif of gourds and leaves. Sumi and red under drawing on thin paper. 18.5 x 12 in., 47 x 31 cms.

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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An original drawing showing a full length study of a peasant carrying a box on her head. A small vignette of a samisen player at the bottom left. Sumi on thin paper. 12.75 x 9.5 in., 33 x 24 cms.

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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An original drawing showing a study of a seated woman holding a rosary in front of an incense burner. Sumi and pentimenti on thin paper. 13 x 9.5 in., 33 x 24.5 cms.

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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.

 

 

Status: Sold

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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: Sold

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Utagawa YOSHITORA (Active c. 1850-1880)




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The actor Bando Mitsuguro V as Yushide, a daughter of Shindo Saemon from the play Karukaya doshin tsukushi no iezuto. From an untitled set of prints designed in conjunction with Kunisada. It was intended to represent the culmination of Kunisada’s career using only the finest materials, engravers and printers. Published by Kinshodo between 1860-1864. 150 designs were envisioned but only 72 were published, with 12 being by Yoshitora who joined the project in 1862. The plot concerns the machinations of rival Daimyo to possess a rare gem stone. Yushide is caught up in the shenanigans, the outcome being that she stabs herself in the throat with the white arrow she wears as a hair pin.

 

 

Superb impression. Fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitora ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA II (1823-1880)



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A triptych showing the actors Nakamura Shikan IV as Sakata Kintoki and Onoe Baiko V as Usui Sadamitsu – both henchmen of Watanabe no Tsuna (Raiko) – on the right; Sawamura Tanosuke III as the courtesan Usugumo (actually the spirit of a spider), centre, and Nakamura Chutaro as Urabe Hidetake – another henchman of Raiko – and Ichikawa Kuzo III as Watanabe no Tsuna on the left. Goblins and skeletons abound in the background. From the play Kubei yoi no itosuji performed at the Morita-za Theatre, 1864. Published by Iseya Kanekichi.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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KATSUKAWA SCHOOL



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The actor Iwai Hanshiro IV probably in a new year Soga play. Unidentified publisher, published c late 1780s.

Fine impression. Exceptional colour. Fine condition.

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYOMASU II (Fl. c 1720s -1760)



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An exceptional Primitive showing the onnagata actor Yamashita Kinsaku I looking down at the actor Sawamura Sojuro I who is holding a kettle and teacup. Published by Sagami-ya Yohei c late 1720s.

Very good impression. Urushi beni-e with hand-applied colour: Tan, yellow, light and dark beni and green. Lacquered sumi over an embossed pattern and gold powder. Minor soil and small nick out of bottom edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Torii Kiyomasu hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYOTOMI (FL. c 1720 -1740)



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The actor Ogino Isaburo I looking down on the onnagata actor Fujimura Handayu II. An inscription above Ogino Isaburo states: Kyo Shijo kudari, “Coming from Shijo (Fourth Street) from the Capital.” Indicating the actor was on tour in Edo. Kyoto was considered the capital at that time and the Kabuki theatre was located on Fourth Street in Kyoto. Published by Igaya Kan’emon (Bunkido) c mid 1720s.

Very good impression. Urushi beni-e with hand-applied colour: Tan, yellow, light and dark beni and blue. Lacquered sumi over an embossed pattern and gold powder. Some soil and expertly repaired wormage, otherwise very good condition. Signed Torii Kiyotomi hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYOMASU II (Fl. c 1720s -1760)



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The onnagata actor Ichimura Takenojo IV standing and combing the hair of a fashionable young man played by Sanjo Kantaro II. Above, left, is the title printed in gold: Kamisuke, “Hair-combing.” These romantic scenes show the tenderness and love between a man and a woman. There is another version of this scene with the same actors by Okumura Toshinobu. Published by Igaya Kan’emon (Bunkido) c early 1730s.

Very good impression. Urushi beni-e with hand-applied colour: Lilac, beni and yellow. Lacquered sumi over an embossed pattern and gold powder with sprayed blue bands around title. Light soil and small expertly repaired wormhole, otherwise very good condition. Signed Torii Kiyomasu hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYOMASU II (Fl. c 1720s -1760)



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Shows the actor Sodesaki Miwano I as a proprietress of a house of assignation (kasha). He holds a puppet of the actor Ichikawa Monnosuke I dressed as a fashionable young man visiting the pleasure quarter holding a sedge hat to hide his face. Published by Igaya Kan’emon (Bunkido) c late 1720s.

Very good impression. Urushi beni-e with hand-applied colour: beni, yellow, lilac and pale green. Lacquered sumi over an embossed pattern and gold powder. Light soil and expertly repaired wormage, otherwise very good condition. Signed Torii Kiyomasu hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYOMASU II (Fl. c 1720s -1760)



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Shows a high-class courtesan emerging from a tea-house with slashed curtains. Possibly one sheet of a triptych. Published by Igaya Kan’emon (Bunkido) c mid 1720s.

Very good impression. Urushi beni-e with hand-applied colour: tan, light beni, light green and yellow. Lacquered sumi and gold powder (mostly lost). Light soil and expertly repaired wormage, otherwise good condition. Signed Torii Kiyomasu hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Tamura SADANOBU (Fl. c 1720s-1730s)



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The An artist who seems to have specialised in triptychs. Shows the actor Ichikawa Monnosuke I shielding his head with a large sedge hat (kasa). The middle sheet (naka) of a triptych with title: Hana shobu irotagai sannpukutsui, “A Triptych of Irises in Alternating Colours.”(Possibly following the colours irises come in: Blue, purple, white.) On the sleeves are the auspicious characters denoting long life. Published by Murataya Jirobe (Eiyudo), c mid 1720s.

Very good impression. Urushi beni-e with hand-applied colour: tan, blue and beni. Lacquered sumi over an embossed pattern and gold powder. Slight loss of the sumi, otherwise very good condition. Signed Tamura Sadanobu hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Okumura TOSHINOBU (Fl. c 1717-1750)



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Shows a beauty whisking tea in front of an alcove. Published by Emiya Kichiemon c late 1720s.

Very good impression. Urushi with hand-applied tan colour. Lacquered sumi over an embossed pattern. Browned and some thinned areas, otherwise good condition. Signed Yamato gashi Okumura Toshinobu hitsu.

Status: Sold

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A diptych showing the actor Otani Tomoemon V as the loyal servant Gakuzo (aka Inukawa Sosuke Yoshito, one of the eight Dog half-brothers), brush in hand, having just hung the decapitated head of the evil Aboshi on a tree and written beside it: Kore ha akuto Aboshi Samojiro nari. Aruiwa hizo tachi, “This is the villain Aboshi Samojiro… He [stole] a treasured sword [Murasame – the treasured sword of the Ashikaga family].” Shows a scene from an episode in Part III, volume 5 of the Satomi Hakkenden no uchi, “Tales of the Eight Dogs of the Satomi Clan.” The macabre tale, written by Kyokutei Bakin (1767-1848) in 98 chapters and 106 booklets, revolves around the eight offspring of a supernatural marriage between a princess and her father’s dog and their commitment to restore the fortunes of the samurai house of Satomi. Published by Tamaya Sosuke 1868. Very rare: Keyes in his dissertation on Yoshitoshi lists just the right sheet from an oban series, presumably the print in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, ART568220, and another impression of just the right sheet is owned by Tateyama City in Chiba Prefecture.

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Kaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu. (Keyes attributes this print to Yoshitoshi as he hadn’t seen the left sheet.)

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Three New Year drummers; two with lion (shishi) masks. Sumi and colour on paper, lightly laid onto card. 24.2 x 36.2 cms; 9.5 x 14.25 inches.

In good condition. Unsigned but from a group, one of which bore full signature.

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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Shibata ZESHIN (1807-1891)



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A fine original drawing in sumi and colour for the series Hana kurabe, “A Comparison of Flowers” published by Shugyokudo between c 1875 – 1890. The set of 120 prints was issued in groups of 12 enclosed in paper wrappers. This design shows a group of Japanese poppies. On thin paper laid onto Japanese paper, 7.5 x 10 in; 19 x 25.5 cms.

Status: Available

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Shibata ZESHIN (1807-1891)



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A fine original drawing in sumi and colour for the series Hana kurabe, “A Comparison of Flowers” published by Shugyokudo between c 1875 – 1890. The set of 120 prints was issued in groups of 12 enclosed in paper wrappers. This design shows a group of daffodills. On thin paper laid onto Japanese paper, 7.5 x 10.5 in; 19 x 26.5 cms.

Status: Available

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Shibata ZESHIN (1807-1891)



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A fine original drawing in sumi and colour for the series Hana kurabe, “A Comparison of Flowers” published by Shugyokudo between c 1875 – 1890. The set of 120 prints was issued in groups of 12 enclosed in paper wrappers. This design shows the entrance to a shrine with numerous ema hanging under cover and two figures entering. On thin paper laid onto Japanese paper, 7.25 x 9.75 in; 18.5 x 24.5 cms.

Status: Available

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Shibata ZESHIN (1807-1891)



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A fine original drawing in sumi and colour for the series Hana kurabe, “A Comparison of Flowers” published by Shugyokudo between c 1875 – 1890. The set of 120 prints was issued in groups of 12 enclosed in paper wrappers. This design shows an unidentified plant with purple-black berries – possibly a variety of elderberry. On thin paper 7.25 x 10.5 in; 18.5 x 26.5 cms. Signed Zeshin and an indication for where the Shin seal should go. Sold together with the published print. Backed and with centre fold. Signed Zeshin and Shin seal.

Status: Available




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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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An excessively rare triptych: Onkyoku sekai awase, “Matching the World and Music,” showing 13 dramatic illustrations of the Joruri world ( these being the famous narrated stories ). All episodes are shown against a snowy backdrop. Published 1849-50 by Ibasen.

Fine impression and colour. Some nice oxidation at bottom and very minor soil. Very good condition. Signed Hiroshige giga, “drawn to amuse.”

Status: Sold

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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‘Evening Snow at Uchikawa’, Uchikawa bosetsu from the early set Kanazawa hakkei, ‘Eight Views in Kanazawa’ published by Koshimuraya Heisuke, c 1835-6. This is an extremely rare and fine set and examples in good condition are very difficult to find. 31-syllable waka poem above. One of Hiroshige’s finest compositions.

Fine impression, colour and condition with large margins. Signed Hiroshige ga.

Status: sold

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Isoda KORYUSAI (1735-1790)



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Manjiya uchi Manshiu, “Manshiu of the Manjiya [Brothel or House]” from a set: Hinagata wakana no hatsu moyo, “New Year Designs as Fresh as Young Leaves.” One of the great 18th century sets comprising at least 140 prints of consistent quality throughout. Shows the oiran with her two kamuro. Published in the late 1770s by Eijudo with some designs by Juzaburo.

Fine impression and colour. Slight creasing, otherwise very good condition. On heavy hosho. Signed Koryusai ga.

Status: Sold

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Kitao MASANOBU (Santo KYODEN) (1761-1816)



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One double-oban design from the most sumptuous album ever produced: Yoshiwara keisei: Shin bijin awase jihitsu kagami, “A Mirror of New Yoshiwara Courtesans with Samples of Their Calligraphy.” Published by Tsutaya Juzaburo, 1784. Shows courtesans viewing calligraphic scrolls. Seven double-oban designs were published in album form, although the original intention was for a larger set. Signed on two sheets Kitao sensai Masanobu.

Fine impression and colour. Centre fold (as always), otherwise very good condition.

Status: Sold

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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“Looking Weighed-down: The Appearance of a Waitress at Fukagawa in the Tempo Era” ( 1830 – 1844 ). From the set: Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. The waitress is shown carrying a tray of rice, sashimi and beans.

Very fine impression and colour of the first edition. A mulberry fibre towards top edge, otherwise very fine condition with margins intact. ( These thread-like filaments of the tree sometimes survived the pulping process – either minute pieces of the outer or inner bark and are often seen. ) Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

Status: Available

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