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.

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A fine surimono showing the actor Danjuro VII casting roasted beans from a tray he holds in his left hand. This ritual called setsubun, “end of winter” was performed in the precincts of temples in the Spring (although now takes place in February). He wears the well known Shibaraku costume with the large mimasu crests. Two poems above by Shiseido Sutena and Hoichitei Masunari. The latter being a member of the Taiko-ren, Drum poetry club. Their symbol top right corner. Issued c 1822. Illustrated in colour on the front cover of Art of the Surimono, Theodore Bowie, Indiana University Art Museum, 1979. Rare.

 

Superb impression with extensive gold and silver. Perfect colour. Light Japanese backing and slightly trimmed at left. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

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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.”


 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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A complete set of five prints of otokodate ( chivalrous men ) showing the champions: Kanoko Kanpei; Kanto Koroku; Hon’machi Amigoro; Shimano Shinpei; and Benkei Tazaemon.


This is a complimentary set to a series “Complimentary Stripes Woven to Order” of bijin busts also showing strong textile backgrounds commissioned to advertise the latest fabrics for the beginning of the New Year. Published by Miyakozawa 1844-6.


Fine impressions and colour. Slight trimming and light album backing. Very good condition. Signed Oju ( by order ) Toyokuni ga.



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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.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1864)




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An extremely rare surimono showing a seated beauty.


Fine impression and colour. The background blind-printed with a textured pattern. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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A print with title: Kaso-zaiku, “Bamboo Basket Work”. Shows a peacock, an oni, cat, and shishi lions built of bamboo by the craftsman Naniwa ( Osaka ) Kazuda Shohichiro. An early and possibly unrecorded Kunisada print. Published by Kawaguchiya Heikichi c 1820’s.


Good impression. Slightly trimmed, backed and some fading. Signed Oju ( “ by special request” ) Kunisada ga.



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Utagawa KUNISADA ( 1786-1864 )




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An uncut fan print showing a bust portrait of the actor Nakamura Shikan II as Matsuomaru in the scene Kuruma-biki from the play Sugawara denju tenari kagami, “Sugawara’s Secrets of Calligraphy” performed at the Nakamura-za theatre, 5/1832. This episode gives rise to one of Kabuki’s most celebrated scenes involving Matsuomaru’s two brothers and the carriage of Shihei. Extremely rare. Published 1832. Publisher not identified.


Very good impression and colour. Slight vertical crease and small edge wormage at top, otherwise good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.


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Utagawa KUNISADA ( 1786-1864 )




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The actor Nakamura Shikan II as Shoki, the demon queller. One of the nine roles in the hengemono dance Kyo kokonoe yayoi no hanamichi performed at the Nakamura-za theatre, 3/1833.Shoki ( Chin: Chung K’uei ) is said to have visited the sick T’ang dynasty emperor, Ming Huang, when he was tormented by fever demons. He recovered and Shoki told the emperor he had promised to rid the country of evil to repay the respect given him by a past emperor after he committed suicide. A favourite character in Japan, he is often depicted in red to ward off evil spirits and shown fighting demons. Paintings of Shoki were hung on Boy’s Day. Published by Yamamoto Kyubei, 1833. Rare.


Very good impression and colour. Slight soil and edge crease at left edge, otherwise good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.


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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A bust portrait of the famous quick-change actor Bando Mitsugoro III as Kajiwara Genta Kagetoki. Performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre in the 3rd month 1811 ( Bunka 8 ). From Kunisada’s finest set: Oatari kyoden no uchi, “Great Performances.” A set of seven prints of celebrated roles of the previous eight years selected from the Oatari kyogen, “Big Hits.” Sumptuously produced with mica grounds which had not been used for twenty years. The expressive poses hark back to similar prints by Toyokuni I and Kunimasa. Exceedingly rare, on a par with many Sharaku prints. Published by Fukusendo, c 1815. Another impression is in the Rietberg Museum, Zurich.


Fine impression. Slightly trimmed left side towards the top and repaired binding holes at top, otherwise good condition. Very good colour with the mica well retained. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.


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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An early and apparently unrecorded chuban triptych showing, on first sheet, an awabi diver near Enoshima surfacing to supply a party on a balcony, far left. Published c.1810s.


Expert repairs in sky, otherwise good impression, colour and condition. Unsigned.



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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A bust portrait of the famous onnagata actor Iwai Hanshiro V in the machi musume, “town maiden” role of Oshichi. A greengrocer’s daughter, she burned down most of Edo in order to be with her lover Kichisaburo. He first performed the role at the Morita-za Theatre in 3/1809 in Sono mukashi koi no edozome. From Kunisada’s finest set: Oatari kyoden no uchi, “Great Performances.” A set of seven prints of celebrated roles of the previous eight years selected from the Oatari kyogen, “Big Hits.” Sumptuously produced with mica grounds which had not been used for twenty years. The expressive poses hark back to similar prints by Toyokuni I and Kunimasa. Exceedingly rare, on a par with many Sharaku prints. Published by Fukusendo, c 1815. Other impressions in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam ( 1956:667 ) and illustrated in Ukiyoe Taikei, vol. 10, no. 146, p. 99.


Fine impression. Completely untrimmed. Very good colour with the purple intact and only slight turning at the edge. Slight loss of mica ( as usual ) and minor soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.


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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A surimono showing the kabuki actors, top right: Ichikawa Danjuro VII holding up a war banner decorated with a sasarindo (bamboo grass and gentian), the mon of the Minamoto clan and Iwai Hanshiro V wielding a large knife in an unidentified play. The poem mentions the Iwai and Ichikawa family names. Published c 1827-30.


Fine impression and colour with blind-printing, silver and gold. Signed in gold on the blue ground Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A bust portrait of the onnagata actor Nakamura Matsue III as the courtesan Akoya. A part he played at the Nakamura theatre, 9/1814, in the play Dannoura kabuto gunki, Battle Tale of Dannoura.” The story tells of Akoya’s loyalty to her Heike lover Taira no Kagekiyo when on being captured she convinces Kagekiyo’s enemies of her ignorance of his hiding place aided by her exquisite music. From Kunisada’s finest set: Oatari kyoden no uchi, “Great Performances.” A set of seven prints of celebrated roles of the previous eight years selected from the Oatari kyoden, “Big Hits.” Sumptuously produced with mica grounds which had not been used for twenty years. Exceedingly rare, on a par with many Sharaku prints. Published by Fukusendo, c 1815. Another impression is in the Museo d’Arte Orientale “Edoardo Chiossone,” Genoa ( S1396 ) and a second is in the Ronald Cavaye collection.


Fine impression. Turning of colour towards bottom right, otherwise good colour. Mica good. Slight staining au verso which shows through mica, otherwise good condition. Full size. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.


Status: Sold

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