Suzuki HARUNOBU (1724-1770)




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A pillar print showing a beauty after a bath walking past a pot of morning glory. Published c. 1768. The morning glory is a precursor of hot summer. Some 40 or 50 years later there was a craze for these plants almost akin to Dutch tulip fever. Other (faded) impressions are in MFA, Boston, Spaulding Collection, nr. 21.4552; Honolulu Museum of Art, nr. 06108; and illustrated in Waterhouse, The Harunobu Decade, 20013, nr. 545. Harunobu produced some of the most sublime Ukiyo-e images and he and his publishers were at the forefront of experimentation in the 1760s using multiple blocks, new pigments and combing pigments to create new hues that were not see again in Ukiyo-e. Unfortunately, the pigments – most often of vegetable origin – were very susceptible to fading and most Harunobu prints are ghosts of their former selves. Harunobu was a master of this hashira-e format: Jacob Pins found 111 to illustrate in The Japanese Pillar Print, 1982. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression. Exceptionally good colour. Minor soil but in very good condition for a print in this format and of this period. (These prints were hung in alcoves or on pillars and they consequently often come browned or faded as well as getting creased by being rolled.) Signed Harunobu ga.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Miya, Atsuta shinji, “Miya, Festival of the Atsuta Shrine.” Number 41 from the famous Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi, “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido.” Published by Hoeido, c. 1833-4. Hiroshige travelled the length of the Tokaido as part of an official delegation in 1832 making sketches along the way. On his return he started work on the set eventually producing 55 prints. The first of the designs were published jointly by Hoeido and Senkakudo, but then Hoeido took over the production. Miya was the largest station on the Tokaido. There were many inns catering for the pilgrims going to Ise and daimyo travelling to Edo. Shows the horse-driving festival held at the Shinto Atsuta Shrine, the Hama Gateway to the right. This is the rare first edition.

 

 

Fine impression. Slight fading of seals, slight centre fold and minimal soil to left edge, 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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Hosoda EISHI (1736-1829)




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An original painting, sumi and colour on silk, 33.25 x 12 in; 84.5 x 30.5 cms. Shows a parading oiran, a high class courtesan, beneath falling cherry blossom. A parade was held every April in the Yoshiwara under the spring cherry blossom. Her costume is decorated with a large golden koi swimming amongst water weeds. An elegant and refined painting of great delicacy typical of this painter who was of unusually high rank for an Ukiyo-e artist. His prints – usually of beauties – are equally elegant. He also had a considerable number of pupils, including Eisho, Eiri and Eisui who produced some exceptional compositions. Probably painted around 1795-1804.

 

 

Mount with some minor damage; painted area in very good condition. Signed Chobunsai Eishi hitsu with Eishi seal.

 

 

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.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1785)




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An hosoban benizuri-e showing the actor Ichimura Uzaemon IX as Soga no Goro Tokimune, brandishing a club, and riding to avenge the murder of his father by Kudo Suketsune. Published c. 1768. (The publisher’s seal may be on the underside of the horse.) Kiyomitsu was the second son of Kiyomasu II.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Torii Kiyomitsu ga.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A tanzaku showing a rooster and hydrangea. Published by Kawaguchi Shozo, c. 1830s. Another impression is illustrated in Four Hundred Ukiyoe Woodblock Prints From The Museum Of Art, Rhode Island School Of Design, 1990, no. 121, p. 54. Hiroshige is best known for his landscapes, but he produced almost as many bird and flower prints.

 

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Tsuchiyama, haru no ame, “Tsuchiyama, Spring Rain.” Number 49 from the famous Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi, “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido.” Published by Hoeido, c. 1833-4. Hiroshige travelled the length of the Tokaido as part of an official delegation in 1832 making sketches along the way. On his return he started work on the set eventually producing 55 prints. The first of the designs were published jointly by Hoeido and Senkakudo, but then Hoeido took over the production. Shows a daimyo’s cortege crossing the Tamura River. Tsuchiyama flourished because of its location at the entrance to the Suzuka Pass. However, in Meiji times, the town was bypassed by the railway because of the steep gradients here. This is the rare first edition.

 

 

Fine impression. Slight fading of seals, slight centre fold and minimal soil to left edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Ishiyakushi, number 44 from the Tokaido showing figures entering the village with others working in the fields. Ishiyakushi-ji Temple was seen on entering the village. From the famous Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi, “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido.” Published by Hoeido, c. 1833-4. Hiroshige travelled the length of the Tokaido as part of an official delegation in 1832 making sketches along the way. On his return he started work on the set eventually producing 55 prints. The first of the designs were published jointly by Hoeido and Senkakudo, but then Hoeido took over the production. This is the rare first edition.

 

 

Fine impression. Slight fading of seals, slight centre fold and minimal soil to left edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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Okabe, Utsu no yama, “Okabe, Utsu Mountain.” Number 21 from the famous Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi, “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido.” Published by Hoeido, c. 1833-4. Hiroshige travelled the length of the Tokaido as part of an official delegation in 1832 making sketches along the way. On his return he started work on the set eventually producing 55 prints. The first of the designs were published jointly by Hoeido and Senkakudo, but then Hoeido took over the production. Utsunoya Pass is just before Okabe. The pass is the scene of a Kabuki play by Mokuami Kawatake (1816-1893) where Jubei Itamiya kills and robs the blind Bun’ya. This is the rare first edition.

 

 

Fine impression. Slight fading of seals, slight centre fold and minimal soil to left edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1829-1869)




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Sesshu Nunobiki no taki, “The Nunobiki Waterfall in Settsu Province,” from a set Shokoku meisho hyakkei, “One Hundred Famous Views in the Various Provinces.” The set published by Uoya Eikichi between 1859 and 1861 (this being 1859). He was the pupil of Hiroshige, given the name Shigenobu. After Hiroshige’s death he married his adopted daughter and became Hiroshige II. The couple were divorced in 1865. She went on to marry another pupil of her father’s – Shigemasa, who became Hiroshige III.

 

 

Superb impression and colour with extensive mica and woodgrain. Fine condition. Signed “The second” Hiroshige ga.

 

 

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Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831-1889)




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The lion falling in love from a set Kyosai rakuga, “Kyosai’s Drawings for Pleasure.”A satirical take on current events and mores. A design based on Aesop’s Fables which tells of a lion falling in love with a beautiful girl and asking her to marry him. Her bemused parents set a challenge for him: to have his claws removed and teeth filed. He duly submits only to have the parents then laugh and ask him to do his worst. Published 1874 by Sawamuraya Seikichi. A set of 15 prints was planned but only 12 are known.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Seisai Kyosai.

 

 

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Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831-1889)




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The enlightenment of Paradise or liberation of the dead from Hell from a set Kyosai rakuga, “Kyosai’s Drawings for Pleasure.” A satirical take on current events and mores. The demons from Hell get new jobs as postmen, rikisha men etc. Published 1874 by Sawamuraya Seikichi. A set of 15 prints was planned but only 12 are known.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Seisai Kyosai.

 

 

Status: Reserved

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Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831-1889)




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A school for spooks from a set Kyosai rakuga, “Kyosai’s Drawings for Pleasure.” A satirical take on current events and mores. In 1874 a new system of education was introduced in Japan – even for the world of ghouls. Shoki is seen teaching the demons basic hellish terms, and the chief of the kappa instructs the ghosts on the Roman alphabet. Published 1874 by Sawamuraya Seikichi. A set of 15 prints was planned but only 12 are known.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Seisai Kyosai.

 

 

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: 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 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 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 KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An original preliminary oban sumi drawing for an unpublished set. Shows a young woman teaching a child to play the shamisen and how to use the plectrum (bachi). With intended series title: Osana musume keiko awase, “Teaching the Arts to a Young Girl.” And sub-title: Imouto e oshieru no zu, “Picture of Teaching a Younger Sister.” A particularly interesting drawing as it shows the spontaneity of the initial concept. Kunisada may have made a further more detailed sketch but a final very detailed drawing was needed for the block-cutter to follow accurately and this would have been given to a pupil to undertake. For obvious reasons, these drawings did not survive.

 

 

In very good condition.

 

 

Status: Available

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Nichiren praying for rain from the set Koso goichidai ryakuza, “Illustrated Abridged Biography of the Founder.” The set published by Iseya Rihei, c. 1835. The event is supposed to have taken place at the Reizan Promontory, Kamakura in 1271. Bunei hachi Kamakura Reizangasake uki. Nichiren was the founder of the Buddhist Nichiren sect of which Kuniyoshi was a follower. This is the very rare first edition without the break in the black border on the left near the small boat. Another first edition impression is in the Baur Collection, Geneva. See Matthi Forrer, 1994, G366. Most impressions show the break. For example: Kuniyoshi, Juzo Suzuki, 1992, no. 179. There are also variant later impressions with differences in the gradation of the sea and the promontory.

 

 

Very fine impression. Fine colour. Imperceptible centre fold and trimming at top, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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Ichieisai YOSHITSUYA (1822-1866)




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Oeyama Shuten doji. Shows Minamoto no Raiko and his four retainers, from left to right: Sakata no Kintoki, Usui no Sadamitsu, Watanabe no Tsuna and Urabe no Suyetake on Oyeyama, “Devil’s Mountain.” In the year 995 the Emperor commanded Raiko to kill the beast who had been kidnapping and eating young maidens around Kyoto. They accomplished this by dressing as priests and getting Shuten-doji incapacitated with alcohol. Raiko has just decapitated the giant head of the demon which then descends on his helmet which saves him. Published 1855 by Kiya Sojiro . A fine design.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Expert edge repair at top right edge of first sheet, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga.

 

 

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ANONYMOUS (Late 18th century)




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An Uki-e, “floating picture” painting showing an interior with a puppet performance taking place. A puppeteer manipulates a female puppet in the centre, behind him two gidayu narrators and a shamisen player. A male puppet is being held behind a screen. Ladies behind a screen at right enjoy the drama. In fact, a male individual at the back seems overcome by emotion with a hanky to his face. The architecture is represented using one-point perspective, a style which made its way to Japan in the 1740’s from the West via China. (Interestingly the artist has got the perspective wrong on the screen at right.) This genre of painting – invariably unsigned – always shows interior or semi-interior views with banquets or, as here, puppet performances. Full colour on paper, 17 x 23 in; 43.2 x 58.5 cms. Minor marks, although good condition for this kind of painting.

 

Status:  
Available

 




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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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An uncut fan print with title Shinkiro no zu which has a double meaning of being the Yoshiwara in the deep sea and also a chimera or mirage. The scene enclosed in a (dreaming ?) bivalve shows visitors in a watery Yoshiwara, all with fish heads. Of the utmost rarity: This appears to be the only impression known. There are also what appear to be keying marks on three sides that have not been removed. Published by Shinagawaya Kyusuke with censor seal for 1845.

 

Very fine impression. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige giga hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An extremely rare chu-tanzaku, Fuyu Sumidagawa no yuki, “Winter Snow on the Sumida River.” From a set Shiki Edo meisho, “Famous Places in Edo in the Four Seasons.” A lone figure in straw cape and large hat poles a log raft down the Sumida river in heavy snow. Published by Kawasho c. 1834. There are a number of states of this design known: As here (probably the earliest) with publisher’s seal and kiwame seal; with kiwame only; and without either. There are also extremely deceiving copies of this print. Provenance: Ex Le Veel collection, sold by Ader Picard Tajan, Paris, 2nd sale, 24/10/1980, lot 114, p. 50.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing the ghosts of the Taira (Heike) warriors attempting to sink Yoshitsune’s ship off the coast of Settsu on his way to Shikoku. This is one of Kuniyoshi’s great designs – amongst the three or four best triptychs and is illustrated in numerous publications. The scene is the outcome of a great battle at Dan-no-ura where the Minamoto (Genji) clans clashed and defeated the Taira clans a few years earlier. The spirits of the drowned warriors rose up to seek revenge only to be pacified by Benkei reciting exorcisms with his rosary. Published 1849-52 by Enshuya Hikobei. Robinson T242. Rare.


Very good impression and colour although slightly mismatched blue on the first and second sheets. Very good condition. Full size. There appear to be three states of this design: The main difference being in the shape of the ghosts and lines in the waves only on the first state. In this (the second state) the ghosts lack some of the features that are on the first and a large spirit appears above the wave over the ship on the centre panel. The third state has further differences in the ghosts and lacks this figure. Also, the colour of the boat gets greyer. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A complete triptych showing beauties in boats on the Sumida River. Shubi no matsu, “Successful-deal Pine Tree” from a set Edo meisho somoku-zukushi, “Notable Sights Famous for Grass and Trees in Edo.” This famous pine was blown down during the An’ei era (1772-1780); its successor died during the Ansei era (1854-1859); the third died at the end of the Meiji era (c 1910). There is also the Hiroshige view of this subject from the 100 Views of Edo. Published by Ebiya Rinnosuke (Kaijudo), 1845.

 

Very good impression. Fine colour and condition. Full size. Another state has darker water and variegated cartouche. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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One of Hiroshige’s most beautiful triptychs: Sumidagawa setchu no zu,“The Sumida River in Snow” from a series Edo meisho shiki no nagame, “Views of the Famous Places of Edo in the Four Seasons.” Shows a ferry landing on the Sumida with a beauty disembarking from a boat and another pair ready to board. Published by Maruya Jinpachi, c 1847-8. Rare.

 

Very good impression and colour. Horizontal centre fold, otherwise good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A lively design showing Ichikawa Danjuro VII in the role of the loyal warrior Arajishi Otokonosuke Terumitsu fighting a giant rat in the cellar beneath the women’s quarters of the Ashikaga Palace. This scene, Yukashita no Ba, is from the play Date kurabe okuni Kabuki performed at the Kawarasaki-za Theatre, 3/1829. Shortly afterwards, the rat escapes down a hole in the hanamichi pathway, only to re-emerge in a cloud of smoke as the arch-villain and master of the black arts, Nikki Danjo. Published by Eikyudo (Yamamoto Kyubei) 1829.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition on an extra large sheet of hosho. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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SESSHUNSAI (Dates unknown but active c 1800)




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An extremely rare early Osaka hosoban showing the actor Asao Tamejuro II (1779-1806) standing before a broken barricade in the role of Yamashiro Kantsubo in the play Meiboku sendai hagi. This artist and print appear to be unrecorded. Published by Houki (Honya Kichisai), c early 1800. A wonderful design. Many thanks to Hendrick Luhl for his help on this print.

 

Very good impression and colour. The fujitive background aobana, dayflower pigment, intact except for one small area affected by moisture visible au verso. Very good condition. Signed Sesshunsai ga with seal unread.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Jokei RYUKOSAI (Fl. c 1772-1816)




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The most important and influential Osaka artist of the late eighteenth century. An innovator whose style may well have influenced such artists as Shunei and Sharaku. His prints – mostly hosoban – are all of the utmost rarity. Indeed, it is thought they originally formed triptychs but, so far, no complete design has been located. The oban design offered here is even rarer, there being only two other impressions known: Illustrated in colour, pl. 13, in Kamigata Ukiyo-e Nihyaku-nen Ten, “200 Years of Kamigata Ukiyo-e,” Susumu Matsudaira, 1975; and pl. 43, p. 56, catalogue of exhibition Ukiyo-e of the Kamigata Area at the Osaka Museum of History and Yamaguchi Prefectural Hagi Uragami Museum, Kitagawa Hiroko, 2014. Shows five actors. From right to left (rear): Nakamura Kyojuro, Arashi Sangoro III, Kataoka Nizaemon VII and (front): Asao Tamejiro I, Ichikawa Danzo IV. Published c 1790 by Ki.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Small areas of contemporary hand colouring to face and costume of Tamejiro. Slight folds and small sumi mark bottom left, otherwise very good condition. Probably full size. Signed Ryukosai ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Jokei RYUKOSAI (Fl. c 1772-1816)




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The most important and influential Osaka artist of the late eighteenth century. An innovator whose style may well have influenced such artists as Shunei and Sharaku. His prints – mostly hosoban – are all of the utmost rarity. Indeed, it is thought, as here, that they originally formed triptychs but, so far, no complete design has been located. The unsigned left panel of a triptych published 1/1793 showing Onoe Shinshichi I (Fujaku) as Isshiki Yukinokami in the play Keisai yanagi sakura. The play involves the rescue of the Ashikaga Shogunate through the efforts of Yukinokami in uncovering a usurper’s plot. The hero stands in a snowy garden holding a fragment of a handscroll he has been found reading. Of the utmost rarity: Only a few impressions are known and there are two states: As here without role above and published by Osakaya Sashichi and with the calligraphy and published by Shiocho.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition.

 

Status: Sold

 

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TOGAKUSAI (Active c 1782)




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An extremely rare and early Osaka hosoban (probably unrecorded) showing the actor Kano Hinasuke I (who later became Arashi Koroku III) standing on large geta and holding an umbrella. Published by Shioki-han (Shioya Kisuke), c 1782. The poem above is signed using the actor’s hango Arashi Minshi. Only a few designs are known by this artist. Many thanks to Hendrick Luhl for his help on this print.

 

Very good impression and colour. Some wear and tear which has been skilfully restored. On very thin paper. Signed Togakusai hitsu with seal Sadakuni.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An exceptionally rare original double-sided woodblock. On one side is the key-block showing Ichikawa Danjuro VII as the strongman, “chikaramochi,” Ura no Kingo. On the other is the key-block showing Iwai Kumesaburo II as the female acrobat, “karuwazashi,” Tamamoto Kosan. The play is Fujikawabune noriai banashi performed at the Nakamura-za Theatre, 5/1826. The block measures 8.5 x 10.75 x .75 in; 21.6 x 27.3 x 2 cms. The two images signed Gototei Kunisada ga. In very good condition but with obvious minor damage. Sold “as is.”


 

Status: Sold

 




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Kubo SHUNMAN (1757-1820)




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A rare surimono showing new year festivities before a large screen depicting Mount Fuji at sunset. A versatile and highly talented artist working in various mediums, Shunman produced (and cut and printed) some of the finest surimono. Published c 1810s. I cannot, at the moment, locate another impression.

Fine impression and colour with extensive gold and silver. Fine condition. Sealed Shunman bottom right.


Fine impression and colour with silver and gold. Light backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Shokyuko Shuntei ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Totoya HOKKEI (1780-1850)




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An exceptionally rare surimono showing salt gatherers on a beach, their huts behind them and Mount Fuji towering over the horizon. Published c 1820s. I cannot, at the moment, locate another impression.


Fine impression with gold clouds and Fuji heavily blind-printed. Fine colour. Minimal soil, otherwise very good condition. Si8ned Hokkei.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




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No. 7 from a set of 12 prints: Joshoku kaiko tewazagusa, showing women engaged in the sericulture (silkworm) industry. This was traditionally the domain of women. The colour scheme is red-avoiding (murasaki-e) using predominantly purple. This stage of the process shows the metamorphosis – the winged moth stage – when silkworms are used to lay eggs. This set is taken verbatim from the Shunsho/Shigemasa set of chuban prints, Kaiko yashinai-gusa. (See elsewhere on this site for a Shunsho example.) Published 1798-1800 by Tsuru-ya Kiemon.


Fine impression. Fine colour, perfectly retained. Very good condition; full size. Signed Utamaro hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty in sumptuous clothing from a fine set of seventy numbered prints with title: Sankai medetai zu, “Excellences of Mountain and Sea.” The set compares busts of beautiful women with various products and occupations from the provinces of Japan. This is number 3, Tamba, and shows men fishing at night with the aid of flares. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.


Very fine impression and colour with strong burnishing on collar. Fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty reading a program while a cat dozes beside her. From a fine set of seventy numbered prints with title: Sankai medetai zu, “Excellences of Mountain and Sea.” The set compares busts of beautiful women with various products and occupations from the provinces of Japan. This is number 19. Catching octopuses, Takasago in Banshu [Harima] Province. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.


Very good impression and colour. The cat’s fur blind-printed. Light album backing, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Token Gonbei using a mirror to pluck his forehead (hitai). The style became known as Token hitai. From a set: Kuniyoshi moyo shofuda tsuki genkin otoko, “Men of Ready Money with True Labels Attached, Kuniyoshi Style.” These otokodates (a word that is difficult to translate but was a chivalrous commoner, a fashionable man-about-town, street-wise and ready to assist the oppressed). Gonbei is said to have beaten a barking token (Dutch hunting dog) to death with his bare hands – thus he got his name. Published c 1845 by Iba-ya Kyubei.


Very fine impression. Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Sasai Kyuzo Masayasu (Sakai Kyuzo Narashige) enveloped in smoke and disintegrating before a volley of musketry at the battle of the Anegawa (1570). From the set Taiheiki yeiyuden, “Heroic Stories of the Taiheiki. A history of the wars of the loyalist Nitta and Kusunoki families against the Ashikaga war-lords during the second quarter of the fourteenth century. But in fact the subject of this set of fifty prints (this being 12, but not numbered) is the civil war of the late 16th century. Censorship restrictions imposed in the 1840s prevented publishers from illustrating historical subjects from the Tensho era 1573-92 onwards, so the publishers circumvented this by slightly altering the names of the historical figures. Published 1848-9 by Yamamoto-ya Heikichi. Robinson S62.36. The best design from the set.


Fine early impression. Fine colour. Slight nibbling to left edge, otherwise very good condition. Fine impression. Fine colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)




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A poem by Onakatomi no Yoshinobu Ason from Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki, the “Hundred Poems explained by the Wet Nurse.” Published by Nishimuraya Eijudo and Iseya Eijudo c 1835/6. Although obviously intended to be a set of 100 prints, only 27 are known plus drawings for the others. The poet speaks of his love being like a fire kept by guards at the Imperial Palace: It only burns hot at night. Shows a group of sleepy imperial guards with the fire burning low. The poet and servant are seen on the distant hill.


Very fine early impression. Fine colour and condition. (The small white area without colour top left should appear on every untrimmed genuine impression.) Signed Zen Hokusai manji (the manji seal black).

 

Status: Sold

 

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