Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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Tokiwa Gozen taking flight from the village of Ryumon into the snowy Yoshino mountains. She flees with her three children. From the set: Kenjo reppuden, “Stories of Wise and Virtuous Women”. Published by Ibaya Sensaburo c1841-2. First state with bokashi above. The best design from the set and often reproduced.


Very good impression and colour. Light album backing. Very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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Shows Ono no Komachi ( one of the Six Poets ) praying for rain. Title label reads: Ama koi Komachi. This is one of various presentments of Komachi’s known as the Seven Komachi. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon ( the same publisher as for the Suikoden ), c1837. A rare print not previously recorded by me.


Very good impression and colour. Small backed wormhole top right, otherwise very good condition. Full size. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.



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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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Chusenko Teitokuson raises his sword with both hands in order to plunge it into the head of a giant snake. From Kuniyoshi’s finest warrior set: “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One”. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon c1827-1830. One of the finest designs from the series.


Fine impression of first edition. Very good colour. Fine condition and completely untrimmed: Designs from this set are notoriously difficult to find untrimmed due to them being on slightly larger sheets of hosho than normal. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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A heavily muscled and tattooed Roshi Ensei, one foot on the head of an adversary, lifts a huge beam. From Kuniyoshi’s finest warrior set: “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One”. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon c1827-1830. One of the finest designs from the series.


Fine impression of first edition. Very good colour. Fine condition and completely untrimmed: Designs from this set are notoriously difficult to find untrimmed due to them being on slightly larger sheets of hosho than normal. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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On a river bank a heavily tattooed Senkaji Choo is about to slay the enemy general Hotentei. Above him a supernatural flame plays over the rushing water. From Kuniyoshi’s finest warrior set: “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One”. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon c1827-1830. One of the finest designs from the series.


Fine impression of first edition. Very good colour. Fine condition and completely untrimmed: Designs from this set are notoriously difficult to find untrimmed due to them being on slightly larger sheets of hosho than normal. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A night scene with Kojoso Jisen leaning down from a tree and shining a large lantern over a wall. From Kuniyoshi’s finest warrior set: “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One”. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon c1827-1830. One of the finest designs from the series.


Fine impression of first edition. Very good colour. Fine condition and completely untrimmed: Designs from this set are notoriously difficult to find untrimmed due to them being on slightly larger sheets of hosho than normal. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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A heavily tattooed Konkoryu Rishun heaves an adversary over his shoulders into a boat while floating in the sea. From Kuniyoshi’s finest warrior set: “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One”. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon c1827-1830. One of the finest designs from the series.


Fine impression of first edition. Very good colour. Fine condition and completely untrimmed: Designs from this set are notoriously difficult to find untrimmed due to them being on slightly larger sheets of hosho than normal. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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Rurihakucho Chojun, half-naked and tattooed with a sword between his teeth, forces apart the bars of a water-gate. From Kuniyoshi’s finest warrior set: “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One”. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon c1827-1830. One of the finest designs from the series.


Fine impression of first edition. Very good colour. Fine condition and completely untrimmed: Designs from this set are notoriously difficult to find untrimmed due to them being on slightly larger sheets of hosho than normal. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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Two foes grappling underwater – possibly Tammeijiro Genshogo and an armoured foeman. From a series ( ? ) enigmatically titled Tosei nama ningyo, “Living Dolls in Modern Days”. Perhaps these are quite literally dolls. Published by Hori Takichi, Dragon 2 ( 1856 ). Not recorded by Robinson.


Fine impression and colour. Bottom right corner repaired, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



Status: Sold

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839 – 1892)




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The Monkey battles Kinkaku Daio on a sea cliff from Tsuzoku saiyuki. Published by Fukura 2/1865. A rare set.


Very good impression and colour. Untrimmed with green border intact. Minor marks, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga.



Status: Sold

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Utagawa SADAHIDE (1807 – 1873)




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The battle at Rokuhara in the Taihei war chronicles: Kasunoki Masashige and Ashikaga Takauji who wheeled his troops round on Rokuhara the Hojo headquarters defending Kyoto. Published 1859.


Superb impression, colour and condition. Signed Sadahide ga and Gountei Sadahide ga.



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Ichieisai YOSHITSUYA (active mid-19th century)




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A triptych with title: Ryozoku shinzan yojutsu kurabe no zu, “A Picture of the Two Enemies in a Witchcraft Match in the Deep Mountain”. Shows Hakamadare Yasusuke and Kidomaru fighting with magic. Yoshitoshi designed a vertical diptych of the same subject in 1887. Published 1860 by Tsutaya Kichizo. A wonderful design.


Very good impression and colour. Slight trimming and minor corner defects, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichieisai Yoshitsuya.



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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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Makibashira. Sagi-no-ike Heikuro wrestling a giant python in the mountains from the set: Japanese and Chinese Comparisons for the Chapters of Genji. Robinson S88.31. Published by Ise-Yoshi, 1855-56. One of Kuniyoshi’s finest designs.


Very fine impression of the first edition. Mica on the python. Perfect colour. Margins slightly trimmed but otherwise fine. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839 – 1892)




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A fireman from the set: Ohoono daiku matoi, A Mirror of Fireman’s Standards in Each of the Precincts of Tokyo. Probably a set of 10 prints published by Okura Magobei, 10/1876. It is not known why this set is so rare, given that firemen were widely admired and on a par with sumo wrestlers and actors. Each fireman holds his standard; his padded clothes were soaked before a fire.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi hitsu.



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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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A rare triptych showing the fight between Ushiwaka Maru ( Yoshitsune ) and Benkei on Gojo Bridge in 1170. One of Kuniyshi’s finest designs. Published by Fujioka-ya Hikotaro c 1840.


Very good impression: First edition with the strong gradation on the wooden pillars of the bridge. Very good colour. Minor soil and other small marks, but generally very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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Takeda Sama-no-suke Nobushige from the set Koetsu yusho den “ Stories of Courageous Warriors from the Koetsu Region”. Shows Nobushige enveloped in a cloud of battle smoke. One of the two best designs from the set. Published by Sumiyoshi-ya Masagoro c1848-9.


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



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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839 – 1892)




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A diptych showing Urashima Taro returning home from the palace of the Dragon King from the set Yoshitoshi manga, “Sketches by Yoshitoshi”. Published by Kobayashi, Meiji 19 ( 1/1886 ). First edition. ( It was republished by Hasegawa 1887.)


Very good impression and colour with margin for joining. Minor backed wormhole otherwise very good condition. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.



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Utagawa YOSHIKAZU (FI. 1850 – 1870)




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An underwater fight between Saito Toshimoto and Raido Shukakuyoku. The best design from the set Buyu kumiuchi tsukushi published by Maruya Jimpachi 1862.


Very good impression and colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good. Signed Ichikawa Yoshikazu ga.



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Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831 – 1889)




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Shoki the demon quellor. A wonderful image of this famous subject printed almost entirely in red, Extremely rare.


Fine impression: the surface of the paper lightly blind-printed. Fine colour. The bottom edge with light soil and slightly deckled, otherwise fine. Full size. Signed Shoshuosai Toilku ga with seal.



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Utagawa YOSHIFUJI (1828 – 1887)




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The head of the cat-witch of Okabe from the Fifty-Three Stations. The head is composed of convoluted cats’ bodies; the eyes being two bells and the mouth a thick ribbon as worn by cats. The print was published circa 1847 by (appropriately) Kita. Excessively rare and a great 19th century design.


Very good impression and colour. Some small expertly repaired wormholes, otherwise very good condition. Full size. Signed Ipposai Yoshifuji ga.



Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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Umegaya, Kajiwara Genda Kagesuye fighting at Ikuta-no-mori from the set Buyu nazoraye Genji, “Heroic Comparisons for the Chapters of Genji”, published by Iba-ya Sensaburo, c.1843. Robinson S28.32. O-tanzako format.


Very good impression and colour. Slightly trimmed top and bottom. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.



Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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Nakamura Kansuke Masatatsu warding off a brazier of hot ashes from the set Seicho gishi shozo, “Portraits of the Faithful Samurai of True Loyalty”. Robinson S78.6. Published 1853 by Sumiyoshi-ya Masagoro. The set characterised by strong westernised effects.


Very good impression and colour. Extensive sprayed pigment to simulate falling ash. Very small binding holes and slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kuniyoshi ga.



Status: Sold

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Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831 – 1889)




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Shoki riding a tiger and attacking a group of demons. “May” from a series of Twelve Months. Published by Fukuda Kumajuro Meiji 20 (1887).


Fine impression and colour. Minor sumi spots, otherwise very good condition. (This design is often trimmed for albums and does not match.) Signed Shojo Kyosai ga.



Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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Triptych showing the Taira ghosts attacking Yoshitsune’s ship amid huge waves. One of Kuniyoshi’s favourite subjects and an extremely fine and rare design. Published c.1850.


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



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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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Hatsuhana doing penance under the Tonozawa Waterfall fulfilling a vow made on behalf of our sick husband. The best design from Stories of Wise and Virtuous Women. Published c.1842 by Ibaya Sensaburo.


Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming at bottom and small repaired wormholes at edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



Status: Sold

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Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797 – 1861)




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Fuse-hime saving the child Masashi from a thunderbolt from “Eight Hundred Heroes of our Country’s Suikoden, One by One”. Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon c.1836. Robinson S4c.3.


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



Status: Sold

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839 – 1892)




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Wakashima Gonemon swimming underwater. The finest design from Azuma no nishiki ukiyo kodan, published by Masudaya 1867/11.


Very fine impression with perfect gradation. Fine colour and condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.



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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839 – 1892)




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Choun riding a horse through smoke. One of the finest designs from Azuma no nishiki ukiyo kodan. Published by Yamajin, 1867/9.


Fine impression and colour. Light crease otherwise very good condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.



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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839 – 1892)




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Mashiba Dairyo Hisayoshi Ko in lightning. The finest design (together with Kon Sosho and the storm dragon) from Yoshitoshi’s first set of ghost prints: Wakan hyaku monogatari. Published by Daikin, 1865/2.


Fine impression, colour and, apart from minor crinkling, condition. Extensive burnishing and other special effects. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga.



Status: Sold

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Yanagawa SHIGENOBU II (Active 1824 – 1860)




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San konoshitakage, “Number Three: In the Shade of a Tree” from a set: Meiba zoroe, “Famous Horses.” Shows a beauty sheltering from rain. Published for the Horse Year 1834.


Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Signed Nisei Yanagawa Shigenobu



Status: Sold

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760 – 1849)




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Kinutagai, “The Fulling Block Shell” from the series: Genroku Kasen kaiawase, “A Matching Game with the Genroku Poem Shells.” ( An anthology published in 1689. ) A collection of verses with pictures designed by Hokusai printed on 36 sheets. Commissioned by the Yomogawa poetry group for the New Year 1821, Year of the Snake. Shows two women at a fulling block beating down scrap paper to pulp to remake into sheets. In the background a boy is stirring the pulp in a basket in a stream. One of the two best known Hokusai surimono sets. Rare.


Fine impression, very good colour with gold and silver. Minor marks and signs of mounting au verso, otherwise very good condition. Signed Getchirojin I itsu hitsu, “Moonstruck Old Man, Iitsu.”



Status: Sold

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760 – 1849)




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Sakuragai, “The Cherry Blossom Shell” from the series: Genroku Kasen kaiawase, “A Matching Game with the Genroku Poem Shells.” ( An anthology published in 1689. ) A collection of verses with pictures designed by Hokusai printed on 36 sheets. Commissioned by the Yomogawa poetry group for the New Year 1821, Year of the Snake. Shows travellers on the way to Narita Fudo, the Shinshoji at Naritasan. One of the two best known Hokusai surimono sets. Rare.


Fine impression and colour with gold and silver. Minor marks, otherwise fine condition. Signed Getchirojin I itsu hitsu, “Moonstruck Old Man, Iitsu.”



Status: Sold

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Katsushika HOKUTAI (Act. c. 1800 – 1830)




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A long surimono by an early pupil of Hokusai. Most likely an invitation to a New Year musical event at Shinagawa ( ? ). Shows three musicians playing samisen, koto and kokyu ( ? ). Probably a unique impression. An Eisai Hokutai was the artist for a book: Tokaeri-bana in 1809. This appears to be the same artist.


Fine impression with gauffrage. Fine colour. Signs, as usual, of the foldmarks on the invitation: These invites were folded three times – once horizontally and twice vertically to form a neat packet. Otherwise very good condition. Signed Shinshinshi Hokutai.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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Ichikawa Danjuro VII as Urashima Taro, seated with his fishing rod and the black box behind him that contains his old age. Urashima Taro saved a giant tortoise and was rewarded by a visit to the Dragon King’s palace beneath the sea by the Dragon’s daughter Otohime. Published for the Taiko-gawa poetry group ( red drum seal top right ) in 1820.


Very fine impression and colour with gold and silver. Fine condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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Ichikawa Danjuro VII ( crouching below ) as Konoshita Tokichi and Segawa Kikunojo V as Princess Otohime. This does not illustrate a particular play, but was obviously intended for the year 1820 as Otohime was the daughter of the Dragon King ( 1820 being a dragon year ).


Fine impression. Very good colour. Extensive gold and silver. Fine condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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Two sheets ( of three ) showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII ( left ) in the role of Minamoto Yorimasa holding a firebrand to better see the giant Nue and Bando Mitsugoro III as Tametomo with his giant bow. The complete set is in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. It appears to be a mitate as these three actors did not act together. The dragon-patterned border indicates the dragon year 1820. The bright blue grounds make for striking compositions.


Very fine impressions. Some slight loss of metallic powders, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kunisada ga on each.



Status: Sold




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Shibata ZESHIN (1807 – 1891), Ikeda TAISHIN and SUISHIN




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A complete set of the four seasons in shijo style: Spring showing cherry blossom viewing signed Taishin; Summer is a still life of theatre props signed Zeshin; Autumn shows people moon viewing signed Suishin, and Winter shows a woman tentatively lifting a bamboo screen on a snow-bound boat signed Zeshin. Extremely rare: This is the only set I have recorded and came from me in the 1980s. The prints were originally folded and would have been sold in paper slip cases ( hence the slight vertical folds ). Although not strictly surimono, they probably served a similar purpose. Each 6.5 x 5.75 inches, 16.5 x 14.5 cms. Taishin and Suishin were pupils of Zeshin and the former was a life long friend of his until his death.


Very good impressions, colour and condition. Signed Zeshin, Taishin and Suishin.



Status: Sold




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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769 – 1825)




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A wonderful design showing the actor Ichikawa Ebizo VI ( Danjuro VIII ) holding a large umbrella with his face reflected in a mirror held by an acolyte. Two poems above by Sakuragawa Jihinari and Jihinari’s son Oya no Omokage. In fact these two writers also composed poems for two other Toyokuni surimono of Danjuro around the same date, c. early 1820s. ( See The Art of Surimono, Roger Keyes, 1985, no. 348, p. 400 and One Hundred Surimono in the collection of Sidney C. Ward, 1976, no. 50, p. 62. ) Extremely rare.


Fine impression. Minor creasing and turning of purple, otherwise very good colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.



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Harunobu GAKUTEI (c.1786 – 1868)




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A sumptuously clothed beauty designed for the Shippo Club. The surimono is unusual in having a caramel-coloured background.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Gakutei with seal Shima.



Status: Sold

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Kubo SHUNMAN (1757 – 1820)




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A superb surimono showing a group of five cranes on a split of sand. The tancho ( “red crest” ) Japanese Crane, Grus japonensis, is the second rarest crane in the world, migrating to East Asia in the fall to spend the winter. There is also a resident flock in Hokkaido. Much loved by the Japanese, the crane was a symbol of luck, longevity and fidelity.One of a set of six surimono with title: San hira no uchi, “Three Petals” written on a poem slip hanging from a plum branch, top left. Probably Shunman’s masterpiece in this format and one of the handful of great surimono. Exceptionally rare: I have not seen another for sale since I started dealing over 40 years ago and this may well be the only available impression extant. An example is in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. See The Art of Surimono, Roger Keyes, Sothebys, 1985, no. 318, p. 363 and colour, p. 344. Another is in the Tokyo National Museum, catalogue II, no. 1654. There are two states with the last character of poem changed. ( For an example of this other state see Surimono, Charlotte van Rappard-Boon, no. 16, p. 33. ) Issued 1816. Shunman, a man of great sophistication, designed only a few prints before concentrating on surimono and printing and issuing some of the finest in this format. ( See The Japanese Print A New Approach, J. Hillier, pp. 102 – 104: “Probably no artist except Choki has achieved so high a reputation on such a small number of prints.” ) He also excelled at painting, book illustration and light verse.


Very fine impression with the feathers of the cranes deeply gauffraged. Fine colour with gold and silver. Minor marks and creases. Seal Shunman lower right corner.



Status: Sold

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