Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



 Click here to view image full size.

Gempei Yashima o-kassen, the great battle of Yashima in 1184. Shows Yoshitsune’s famous “eight-boat leap” (centre), Noritsune (left), and Benkei on the large boat (right). Published by Kawaguchiya Uhei, c. 1839-41.

 

Very good impression and colour. Edge repair top left sheet, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



 Click here to view image full size.

A night scene illuminated by a band of light from a hand-lantern. Shows Ushiwaka-maru (Yoshitsune) battling with the outlaw priest Kumasada Chohan and his band of thieves who were attempting to rob the inn where Yoshitsune was staying. Published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c. 1839-41. A fine design.

 

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

 

Status: Available

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



 Click here to view image full size.

A triptych of the Ink Wars, Bokusen no zu. Evidently a court pastime during the Nara period (710-794) was to stage ink battles. Courtiers are involved in throwing ink and daubing each other with brushes. Published by San, 1843.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi giga.

 

Status: Available

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



 Click here to view image full size.

Women washing cloth in the Chofu River from a set of six triptychs of the Six Tama (or Jewel, or Crystal) Rivers. Musashi no kuni Chofu Tamagawa, “Chofu Crystal River in Musashi Province.” Published by Sanoya Kihei, 1847-8.

 

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

 

Status: Available

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



 Click here to view image full size.

The warrior Ritchitaisai Genshoji in a boat attacked by grappling-hooks thrown by his adversaries. A design from the set Tsuzoku Suikoden goketsu hyaku-hachi-nin no hitori, “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One.” Based on the Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan, attributed to Shi’Nai’an, which tells of a band of 108 brigands who operated from Liangshan Marsh. Published by Kagaya Kichiyemon, 1827-30. Robinson S2.53.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size (unusual as these prints are overlarge obans and often trimmed). Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

Tags: , , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



 Click here to view image full size.

The priest Mongaku Shonin doing thirty-seven days penance under the freezing Nachi waterfall near Kyoto. He is helped by Fudo Myo-o’s two attendants Seitaka and Kongara seen here top right. This act of self-mortification is because he accidentally killed his beloved cousin Kesa. Published by Uoya Eikichi, 1860. A fine design.

 

Superb impression of the first state with splashed gofun over Mongaku’s head. Fine colour. Lightly backed and imperceptible centrefold, otherwise fine condition. Signed Chooro Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Available

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

2 vols. complete: Kanjaku tsuizen hanashidori, “The Liberated Birds: A Memorial Book for Kanjaku.” A memorial book for the actor Nakamura Utaemon who died in 1852. He had the literary name of Kanjaku, meaning ”playing with sparrows” and the covers and many illustrations allude to this custom of releasing birds at funerals. Vol. 1: 1st preface , 3pp. giving the biography of Utaemon IV; poem 1p. 3 sheets: calligraphy (in ishizuri), 1p.; illustrations in colour, 5pp. signed on first page Toyokuni (III). Sheets 1-8: 2nd preface, 5pp., remaining pp. text, poems and colour illustrations. Sheets 1-75 with 15 single-page and 62 double-page illustrations in sumi and light colour. Inside back cover: colophon dated Kaei 5 (1852). Vol. 2: 110 sheets of text, poems, and illustrations. 38 single-page and 50 double-page illustrations (many in colour and includes a double-page illustration by Kuniyoshi). Last page, colophon, dated Kaei 5 (1852). Original covers with clouds and sparrows. Some soil and minor damage. One title slip missing and other damaged. Contents extremely good.

 

Status: Available

 




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




 Click here to view image full size.




here to view image full size.




here to view image full size.




here to view image full size.




here to view image full size.

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

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. The inset view here shows woven silk from Bungo Province, Bungo shiborizone. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

Superb impression, very fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyosh

 

Status: Available

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



 Click here to view image full size.

An uncut fan print from a series: Koumei matsu tsukushi, “ Famous Kinds of Pine.” A euphemism for young beauties. One here shown holding a cage for fireflies being caught by children in the background. Published by Maruya Jinpachi, 4/1854.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



 Click here to view image full size.

A chutanzaku print showing a tortoise, crab and dandelions from an untitled series of ten prints showing water creatures originally published two-to-a-sheet. Of the utmost rarity: Arguably the most difficult Kuniyoshi set to find. It appears there are only three other impressions known of this design: The Bidwell Collection, Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, illustrated in their catalogue, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1980, no 72 (60.D05.197); The Japan Ukiyoe Museum, uncut sheet with lobster and small fish, illustrated in Utagawa Kuniyoshi Exhibition Catalogue, 1996, p. 154, no. 208; and Kuniyoshi, Iwakiri Yuriko, Hotei publishing, 2013, p. 135, no. 109 (possibly from a French collection). This actual impression (making the fourth impression known) is illustrated in Kuniyoshi, Juzo Suzuki, 1992, no. 445. Ex collections J. Schedel (seal next to signature) and Sawai Suzuichi. This impression has no publisher’s seal nor does another design of a carp from the set illustrated in Heroes & Ghosts, Robert Schaap, Hotei publishing, 1998, p. 213, no 240. That is a very fine impression (as is this) and possibly they are proof impressions. Published by Tsujiokaya Bunsuke (Kinshodo), c 1837. For the full set illustrated see the Springfield catalogue mentioned above. Excessively rare.

 

Very fine impression with woodgrain showing on all blocks. Fine colour. Centre fold (evident if held to light), otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga with Yutaka seal.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Oho ( Wang P’ou ) visiting his mother’s tomb to comfort her during a thunderstorm. Shows peasants fleeing the zigzag lightning bolts. From a set of fourteen prints: Nijushi-ko doji kagami, “Mirror of the Twenty-Four Paragons of Filial Piety.” Published by Wakasa-ya Yoichi, c 1840. Each print shows an example of a child’s exemplary behaviour in looking after their aged parents There is a strong western influence in this set. Robinson S13.14.


Very good impression and colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



Status: Available

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

An extremely rare diptych, Shoki-san jaki ni sokko, “Shoki-San, Quick-Acting Medicine to Remove Evil Spirits.” Images of Shoki were used to ward off evil spirits and illness, especially during the Boys’ Festival. Published 1858 by Enshuya Hikobei. Provenance: Purchased from me in 1994.


Extremely fine impression. Fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi fude with Yutaka seal.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

A triptych Akazawa-yama o-sumo showing the most famous sumo match in Japanese history between Kawazu Saburo Sukeyasu and Matano Goro Kagehisa at Akazawa mountain. Also famous as Kawazu used a new sumo hold wrapping a foot around his opponent’s leg and encircling the neck with one arm, a manoeuvre that became known as the Kawazu hold. The event took place in 1176 before Shogun Minamoto Yoritomo where Kawazu defeats the popular bully Matano. Subsequently Kawazu was murdered, quite unrelated to the bout. His sons swear revenge and their story becomes the Soga monogatari. Kawazu is shown here throwing Matano to the ground, the referee to the left. Published 1858 by Maruya Kyushiro. Robinson T353. Provenance: Purchased from me in 1994.


Superb impression and colour. One small thinned area, otherwise very fine condition. Probably the finest impression extant of this famous design. Signed Kuniyoshi ga and Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

A triptych showing the famous archer Minamoto no Yorimasa preparing to shoot the monster Nue on the roof of the Shishinden Palace. The story relates how in 1153 the sixteen year old Emperor Konoe was having difficulty sleeping due to the shrieks and scratchings emanating from the palace roof. Guards informed him that a black cloud descended there every night. Yorimasa was called upon to investigate and he brought down the beast – a composite creature, part monkey, badger, tiger, dragon and snake which was duly despatched by his retainer Hironao no Hayata (Tadazumi no Hayata). Subsequently Konoe sleeps soundly and rewards Yorimasa with a fine sword and a court beauty Yorimasa loves. An exceptional design published 1842-3 by Yamashiroya Shinroku. Robinson T112. Provenance: Purchased from me in 1994.


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

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Kwaido Maru (Kintoki) seizes Raijin, the Thunder God, with one hand while holding his thunder drums with the other. A thunderbolt falls to earth causing flashes of lightning. A fine and rare set: Honcho musha kagami, “Mirror of Warriors of our Country.” The set published by Tsujioka-ya Bunsuke, 1855. Robinson S87.6.


Fine impression. Slightly trimmed, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Hironao no Hayata (Tadazumi no Hayata), Yorimasa’s retainer (see the triptych by Kuniyoshi of the same subject on this update), grappling with the composite beast Nue on the roof of the Shishinden Palace. Forked lightning bounces around him. One of the best designs from Honcho Suikoden goyu happyaku-nin no hitori, “Eight Hundred Heroes of our Country’s Suikoden, One by One.” Published by Kagaya Kichiemon, 1830-31.


Very good impression and colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Aigo Gozayemon Hisamitsu (Haigo Gozaemon Hisamitsu) mounted and armoured (less helmet) in battle levelling his long spear. He was a retainer of the Oda family and served under Shibata Katsuiye. 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 design numbered 43) 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 S62.1. One of the best designs from the set.


Very fine impression. Fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Fukishima Masamori (Fukushima Masanori) in armour struggling with three assailants. He was the son of a cooper in the province of Owari. 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 design numbered 15) 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 S62.9. One of the best designs from the set.


Fine impression and colour. Small binding holes, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.Published 1848-9 by Yamamoto-ya Heikichi. Robinson S62.2. One of the best designs from the set.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Inuzaka Keno Tanetomo struggling with four adversaries from Kyokutei-o seicho Hakkenshi zui-ichi, “The One and Only Eight Dog History of Old Kyokutei [Bakin], Best of Refined Authors.” The set of eight prints form diptychs and are based on Bakin’s (1767-1848) famous novel Satomi Hakkenden, “Eight Dogs of the Satomi Clan.” Robinson S5.7.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Shinba ren Uogashi ren Ichikawa Sansho e kore o okuru. Of the utmost rarity: A large surimono commissioned by the Shinba and Uogashi poetry clubs of Nihonbashi to commemorate the kabuki actor Ichikawa Sansho. Sansho was one of the haigo (poetry name’s) of Ichikawa Danjuro VIII (1823-54). This print was presented to Danjuro in May 1849, and he subsequently went to see his father, Ichikawa Ebizo (Danjuro VII), who had been banished to Osaka, as the red image of Shoki on the nobori represents Ebizo. These banners were flown on the Boy’s Festival (Tango no sekku) on the fifth day of the fifth month outside the homes having male children under the age of seven. The large carp kite was also flown at this time and represents perseverance. This impression has the poems of the Shinba circle. It is also known with poems of the Uogashi club. Another impression is in the Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, Bidwell collection, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1980, no. 195. This impression is illustrated elsewhere. Also Kuniyoshi, Juzo Suzuki, Heibonsha Ltd, 1992, no 461, and Kuniyoshi, Nikkei Inc. 2011, no 295. An impression has also come up at auction.

 

Fine impression with heavy gold on the top of the banner. Fine colour. Restored wormholes and restoration along the vertical laid lines. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi e.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Ina-uye Daikuro Masatada (Inoue Daikuro Nagayoshi) in armour but without helmet, his sashimono adorned with a skull, about to discharge a huge gun. 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 design numberSurimono 033ed 47) 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 S62.16. One of the best designs from the set.


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

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Kido Takuzayemon Nagachika (Kido Sakuzaemon Norishige) on stone steps above a river attempting to prise open a metal grill. He was lord of the castle of Uda in Higo Province. 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 design 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 S62.19. One of the best designs from the set.


Fine impression and colour. Small binding holes, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Orio Mosuke Yasuharu (Horio Mosuke Yoshiharu) in early youth overcoming a huge wild boar. A feat which caused Hideyoshi to take him into his service. 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 design 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 S62.27. One of the best designs from the set.


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

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Saito Toshimoto nyudo Ryuhon (Saito Toshimitsu nyudo Ryuhon) in armour struggling with a Chinese brigand underwater. 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 numbered 48) 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 S62.31. One of the best designs from the set.


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

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

The stern of a large sailing-junk and a smaller vessel infront. A poem by Sangi Takamura (Ono no Takamura) from Hyaku-nin isshu, “The Hundred Poets” published by Ebine c 1838. Depending which story one reads, either Takamura, who was a customs official for ships trading to and from China, went missing on a mission or was reported for being an extortioner and banished to the Oki Islands. Either way, he was subsequently pardoned. One of the best designs from this fine set. Robinson S19.11 and illustrated in Robinson (1961), no. 59.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

A triptych showing the famous battle on Gojo Bridge between Ushiwaka Maru (Minamoto no Yoshitsune’s childhood name) and Benkei. Yoshitsune is aided by Sojobo, King of the Tengu (white-bearded in the centre), and other yamabushi tengu. Published by Enshuya Hikobei, 1847-50. Robinson T194.

 

Very fine impression and colour. Fine condition. This is the best example I have seen of this design. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

The priest Nichiren standing on the rocky promontory at Reizan in Kamakura and having his prayers for rain answered. The event occurred in 1271. His disciples surround him and protect him from the deluge with a large umbrella. Bunei hachi Kamakura Reizan-ga-saki uki. The second best design from Koso [ Nichiren ] goichidai ryakuzu, “Illustrated Abridged Biography of the Founder.” Nichiren ( 1222 – 1282 ) was the founder of the Buddhist Nichiren sect ( Nichiren shu – Kuniyoshi being a follower ) and indeed the set of ten prints may have been commissioned to mark the 550th anniversary of his death. Published by Iseya Rihei c 1831.

 

Fine impression. This example has an orange-red colour used on Nichiren’s robe and umbrella, rather than the brighter red of other impressions. Also, the far mountains are more subtly rendered than on other examples.Very good colour and condition. Slight centre fold. Full size with ample room on top border for the umbrella which protrudes beyond the border and is notorious for being trimmed. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

The priest Nichiren calming a storm at Kakuda on his way to Sado Island by invoking the name of the Lotus Sutra (namu myoho rengekyo) which is shown written on the waves. From Koso goichidai ryakuza, “Illustrated Abridged Biography of the Founder.” Nichiren was the founder of the Buddhist Nichiren sect (Nichiren shu – Kuniyoshi being a follower) and indeed the set of ten prints may have been commissioned to mark the 550th anniversary of his death. Published c 1831 by Iseya Rihei. One of the three best designs from the set.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight centre fold, otherwise fine condition with splashed gofun. Full size. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Hatsuhana’s long penance under the Tonozawa waterfall to aid her crippled husband “Hazari” Katsugoro who is intent on revenging his brother’s murder. Hatsuhana dies, Katsugoro is cured and kills his arch enemy near the waterfall. From the set Kenjo reppuden, “Stories of Wise and Virtuous Women.” Published by Ibaya Sensaburo, 1841-2.

 

Fine impression and colour. One backed wormhole top left, otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

A triptych Shijo-nawate nite Nanke no yeiyu taiteki wo. The last stand of the Kusunoki at Shijo-nawate under a hail of arrows in 1348. Right to left: Wada Shinbochi (Genshu), Kusunoki Masatsura, and Masatomo. Their blue demeaner indicates their imminent demise. Published 1857 by So-To (Sagamiya Tokichi). This forms a 6-sheet composition showing Masayuki, Koshiro Hyogo, and Noda Shiro. Robinson T346.

 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible fold on last sheet and slight discolouration in margins, otherwise very good condition. Full size. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



 Click here to view image full size.

The warrior Ju-unryu Kosonsho holding a sword and making a magical gesture with his other hand. A dragon encircles the rock he stands on. A design from the set Tsuzoku Suikoden goketsu hyaku-hachi-nin no hitori, “The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden, One by One.” Based on the Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan, attributed to Shi’Nai’an, which tells of a band of 108 brigands who operated from Liangshan Marsh. Published by Kagaya Kichiyemon, 1827-30. Robinson S.26.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size (unusual as these prints are overlarge obans and often trimmed). Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Nichiren struggling up a snow-covered mountain near Tsukahara on the Island of Sado. The best design from Koso goichidai ryakuza, the “Illustrated Abridged Biography of the Founder.” Nichiren being the founder of the Buddhist Nichiren sect ( Nichiren shu – Kuniyoshi being a follower ) and indeed the set of ten prints may have been commissioned to mark the 550th anniversary of his death. Published by Iseya Rihei, c 1831. Like many great landscapes, there exist different states which causes confusion over which is the earliest. The basic difference is that the design is known with and without a horizon line and that there is at least one impression where the uninked, blind-printed line can be seen in a raked light (as indeed it can on this impression). It has been asserted that those impressions without are the earliest; however, it seems from this that the sumi block was probably cut initially with the line but the publishers thought that it looked aesthetically better without printing it, and it was subsequently removed. In any case, this is an extremely rare print and most surviving examples appear to be similar in impression. There is a break in the border to the left of the bottom of Kuniyoshi’s signature which could give a guide to the earliest states, but as this is often painted in, it is not reliable. The composition is based on a design in the illustrated book Bumpo sansui gafu by Kawamura Bumpo, published posthumously in 1824. Although not from a landscape set, this is considered one of the great 19th century landscapes.


Fine impression and colour. Beautiful gradation with splashed gofun (oxidised). Slight centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



 Click here to view image full size.

A triptych showing Ushiwakamaru (Minamoto no Yoshitsune, 1159-1189) and his manservant Onmaya Kisanta watching his loyal retainer, the warrior monk Benkei, dragging the giant Mii Temple bell up Mount Hiei. Benkei ga yuriki tawamure ni Miidera no tsurigane no Eizan e hikiaguru zu. Published by Ibaya Senzaburo, 1845-6. One of Kuniyoshi’s great designs. Rare.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Some edge strengthening on the back on centre sheet, otherwise very good condition. Full size: An extremely difficult design to find without trimming and illustrated examples often have the bell not aligning up because of this. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

A view of Hara, Yoshiwara and Kanbara from Tokaido gojusan eki (shishuku meisho), “ Famous Views of the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido (Four at a Time)” although the set actually varies, showing between three and six per sheet. The set of twelve designs published by Tsuruya Kiemon and Tsutaya Kichizo, c 1835.

 

Very fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour. Some soil on reverse, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi shuku zu (“Drawn together by Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi”).

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Travellers viewing Mount Asama. Usui-toge yori Asama o miru zu, “A View of Mount Asama from Usui Pass.” From Kuniyoshi’s best landscape set. Of the utmost rarity with most extant impressions differing. This and the impression in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, are similar, without the smoke coming from the cone of Asama (the most active volcano on Honshu). Other impressions are in: The British Museum, 1948, 0410, 0. 108, which has gradation up the left side of the mountain; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, JP 1424, with gradation down from the summit; and Worcester Art Museum which is similar to the Mets, 1901.692. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, c 1836. I have only had one other impression in over forty-five years of dealing.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



 Click here to view image full size.

Kido Maru learning magic from the forest tengu. Possibly Kuniyoshi’s greatest design in this genre. He is shown, cross-legged,atop a giant python, two wrapped pine sprigs (aomatsuba) in his mouth. A long dagger is driven into the python’s head and snakes curl around its blade. Robinson SIF.1. Illustrated in colour , pl. 12, and also used on the front cover of B. W. Robinson, Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints, Phaidon, 1982. This is the rare first edition published by Tsutaya Kichizo, c 1840 with the kiwame seal above publisher.

 

Very fine impression with fine gradation (missing later on). Fine colour. Imperceptible fold, otherwise fine condition. Full size. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



 Click here to view image full size.

A rare vertical diptych showing the famous Daimyo Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578). He ruled Echigo Province and was known as a skillful administrator as well as warlord; also for his rivalry with Takeda Shingen who he fought at the fourth battle of Kawanakajima. Published by Jubei Yorozuya, 1846.

 

Fine impression and colour. Extensive mica applied to the headgear. Yellow ground. Very slight trimmimg at bottom, otherwise full size with ample room for joining. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1798-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Kwanyu ( Chin. Kwan Yu ), the celebrated warrior who was deified in 1591 as Kwan Ti, the God of War. Shows the warrior standing on a partially submerged boat, far right, with his long black beard and carrying a huge halberd overlooking the river battle with the Seven Armies of Gi ( Wei ). Published by Tsutaya Kichizo 1854.


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


Status: Sold

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Boar from a chu-tanzaku set of twelve prints Buyu mitate junishi, “Chosen Heroes for the Twelve Signs.” Based on the Chinese zodiac system of twelve animals. Shows Yuryaku Tenno, the 21st Emperor (457-480) by a waterfall killing a huge boar. Said to have occurred at Mount Katsuragi in 461. Published by Minatoya Kohei, c. 1840.

 

Very good impression and colour. Minimal trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,

 

Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




 Click here to view image full size.

Dog from a chu-tanzaku set of twelve prints Buyu mitate junishi, “Chosen Heroes for the Twelve Signs.” Based on the Chinese zodiac system of twelve animals. Shows Hata Rokurozayemon, a follower of Nitta Yoshisada, with an array of weapons and accompanied by his dog. Published by Minatoya Kohei, c. 1840.

 

Very good impression and colour. Minimal trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

Tags: , ,