Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An exceptionally rare triptych showing Minamoto no Yorimitsu (Raiko) and his loyal retainers, from left to right: Watanabe no Tsuna, Usui no Sadamitsu, Sakata no Kintoki and Urabe no Suetake killing the giant “Earth Spider.” Numerous versions exist of this story but basically Raiko and his followers have to tackle various horrendous apparitions in a cave within the hill Kagura ga oka near Kyoto, eventually to be faced by a beautiful woman who envelops Raiko in cobwebs. He slays her and her body turns into the spider, the head being twenty-five feet long and eyes shining like the sun and moon. He cuts off the beast’s head and the carcase reveals the many bodies devoured by it. An extremely early Kunisada print published by Nishimuraya Yohachi, c 1815. I have not seen this design before or located another impression.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Full size with extra paper around. Signed Kunisada ga.

 

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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An original painted fan showing the actor Danjuro VIII. The fan has been used and dismounted from the frame and laid onto Japanese paper, hence the rib marks. Signed Toyokuni fude with red toshidama seal. Painted c 1858. Sold “as is.” Extremely rare.


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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An aizurie fan print of the Husband and Wife rocks, Futami beach, Ise Province. A favourite beauty spot and a Shinto site showing the tasselled rope hanging between the two formations. From a series of extremely rare aizurie fan prints published 5/1830 by Daikokuya. Indeed, this may be the only known impression of this design.


Very good impression and colour. Restored and laid onto stable Japanese paper.


Signed Oju Kunisada ga ( “By special request” ).


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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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Sunrise at Futamigaura, Futamigaura akebono no zu from an untitled set of ten landscapes published by Kinkodo c. 1832. Shows the husband and wife rocks at Futami beach in Ise Province. A Shinto site indicated by the rope and gateways on top of the left rock. Kunisada, like Kuniyoshi, Toyoshige, Gakutei and Hokkei, while not known as a landscapes artist, produced a few fine examples, as here. Rare.


Fine impression, the waves gauffraged. Minor soil and marks, otherwise very good colour and condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.


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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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The Eitai Bridge ( Eitaibashi ) from a second series of five prints with title: Komo abura-e fu, “Drawings in the Red Hair [ Dutch ] Oil Painting Style.” Shows beauties in a pleasure boat in the foreground with a view along the Sumida of Eitai Bridge and Tsukuda Island. A mass of masts is shown in the harbour. ( At this time – c. 1825 – pure spring water and mountain streams supplied the canals and rivers with drinking water and the mouth of the Sumida was abundant with sea and fresh water fish. A distinct difference from today. ) This extremely rare set mimics Dutch leather with the borders and European writing with horizontal calligraphy. Published c. 1825 by Kinkodo.


Very good impression with extremely well retained colour. Minor soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Konomi ni makase Kunisada egaku, “Drawn by request by Kunisada.”



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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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Shows a trainee courtesan applying rouge to her eyes. Odori shisho, “The Dancing Girl” from a set Tosei bijin awase, “A Collection of Modern Beauties.” The set published by Moritaya Hanzo, c. 1826. Above, in the fan-shaped label are the accoutrements of her trade: a wig stand, a pair of clappers to keep time, and the libretto of a song.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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Tumekiri yoshi, “A Good Day to Trim One’s Nails” from Hanagoyami kichijitsu sugata “Beauties on Auspicious Days of the Flower Calendar.” A beauty in a bathrobe with scissors about to trim her toenails. The scissors have a small bell which is usually seen around the necks of cats. Published 1844.


Fine impression and colour. Superb cutting and printing of the aizuri design on the bathrobe. Very slight trimming. Retains original album backing. Signed Kunisada aratame nidaime Toyokuni ga, “Kunisada changing his name to the second of the name Toyokuni drew.”



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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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The colour white from Ukiyo goshoku awase, “Matching with Five Colours of the Floating World.” A beauty before a mirror holding another mirror behind her to enable her to apply white make-up to the nape of her neck. A highly erogenous area to the Japanese. Published by Sanoya Kihei, 1845.


Very good impression and colour. Slight trimming and retains original album backing. Signed Kunisada aratame nidaime Toyokuni ga, “Kunisada changing his name to the second of the name Toyokuni drew.”



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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)


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An original wood block showing actors as Kuzunoha and Abe no Yasuna. Kuzunoha was the fox wife of Yasuna and is usually depicted nursing her child or appearing as a white fox giving Yasuna the key to her disappearance in a dream. Au verso is an uninteresting design by Yoshifuji entitled Toita zukushi, a “Collection of Sliding Doors.” Rare: Blocks of seasoned wood had become expensive in the 19th century and old blocks were often planed down to be reused by later artists/publishers. Important blocks seldom come onto the market, and the few that do are invariably for later copies. Most were reused and/or burnt and destroyed. Signed Toyokuni ga. Publisher’s seal not read. Censors’ seals for 1849 – 53. Sold as is with some slight edge wormage, but otherwise surprisingly good condition.



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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)


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An extremely important original wood block. Shows the onnagata actor Onoe Kikugoro IV as the chinohito, ‘wet-nurse,’ Masaoka, in the play ‘Konoshita Masagono Date-zome,’ performed at the Ichimura Theatre, 9/1855. Designed for the late, fine set of deluxe bust portaits published by Ebisuya Shoshichi ( except two ) between 1860 and 1869. There are also eleven designd by Yoshitora. The culmination of Kunisada’s carrer. On the reverse of the block is a design by Utagawa Kunitoshi ( 1847 – 99 ) with title Tokyo meisho Kaiunbashi dai-ichi kokuritsu ginko, ‘First National Bank at Kaiun Bridge, Famous Views of Tokyo.’ Published Meiji 10 ( 1877 ) by Naraha Shutei. Signed Kunitoshi hitsu. Blocks of seasoned wood had become expensive in the 19th century and old blocks were often planed down to be reused by later artists/publishers. Important blocks seldom come onto the market, and the few that do are invariably for later copies. Most were reused and/or burnt and destroyed. Signature Toyokuni ga with publisher’s seal Kinshodo and Sho; carver’s seal choko Ryuzo and Aratame censor’s seal 3/1860. Sold as is with some slight edge wormage, but otherwise surprisingly good condition.



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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)


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A fine view of the inside of a theatre with a performance taking place. The faces of the audience in the stalls are carefully drawn and it’s obvious that many were meant to be recognised. Published by Noshuya Yasubei, 1858. Rare.


Fine impression and colour. Offsetting on last sheet and trimmed slightly on left. Other minor marks and rubbing. Signed Ichiyosai Hinajishi Toyokuni ga.



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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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Shoki, “The Demon Quellor.” The ghostly Chinese protector of the Emperor Ming Hwang. A favourite subject for the Japanese, he is usually shown beating off annoying oni. He is always depicted dressed in Chinese military attire with the characteristic Chinese hat with side streamers and holding a two-edged sword. Published c 1847-1852.


Very good impression and colour. The paper has a semi-chirimen surface. Some creasing and minor marks. Signed Ichiyosai Utagawa Toyokuni hitsu.



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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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A surimono double actor portrait probably showing Ichikawa Danjuro VIII as Sukeroku and Matsumoto Koshiro ( V ? ) as Ikyu from the play Sukeroku, c 1859. This could be a commemorative surimono from the actors’ fan clubs. The inset busts are shown against a backdrop of beautifully printed foliage.


Superb impression. Fine colour. Very small edge wormage repaired, otherwise fine condition. Signed “Seventy three year old Toyokuni hitsu “.



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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)


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A secret tryst with a young woman, her face partially hidden, opening a sliding screen which lets a beam of light illuminate the darkness. From a set of six prints: Secret Meetings by Moonlight, Tsuki no kage shinobiau yoru. A fine set published c. 1836 – 38 by Yamamoto Kyubei ( second edition Izumiya Ichibei ).


Fine impression and colour. Minor edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.


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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)


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Three beauties returning home on a summer evening after having been to the bathhouse, probably in the vicinity of the Daimyojin, Edo. The third woman’s angled lantern illuminates the whole scene, the background figures in pure silhouette. Kunisada designed an earlier version of this subject signed Gototei in the early 1820s. This version published c 1845-1847. This must have been a popular print as poor impressions exist.


Very good impression and colour. Minor edge wormage repaired, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kochoro Toyokuni ga.


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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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A kakemono-e showing a full length beauty representing Moon from a set: Snow, Moon and Flowers of the Floating World. Published c1844.


Very good impression and colour. Light backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kunisada aratame ( “changed his name to” ) nidai ( “the second” ) Toyokuni ga.


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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)


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A fine composition showing the upper and lower floors of a brothel in the Yoshiwara. Natsu no bu, Summer, from a set of four prints: The View of Four Seasons in Modern Times. Published by Kikakudo 3/1856.


Fine impression, colour an condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.


Status: Sold

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