Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)



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A scene taken from the Chinese 14th century heroic novel San guo zhi yanyi, “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” attributed to Luo Guanzhong. Shows in the centre Liu Bei (Jap. Ryubei), the founder of the Kingdom of Shu, and the two warriors, Guan Yu (Kan U) on the right and Zhang Fei (Cho Hi) on the left. The three swore pledges of brotherhood in a peach orchard. Toen gikei no zu, “Picture of the Oath in the Peach Orchard. “ Published by Tsutaya Juzaburo with early signature c 1782-3. Rare.

 
 

Fine impression. Very good colour: yellow ground. Slight crease down right edge and very small wormage near top right, otherwise very good condition. Signed Utamaro ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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    Ichiyusai KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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    A triptych showing the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi (centre) battling Shirakura Dengoemon (left) and his henchmen. The story usually relates how a jealous Dengoemon plots to kill Musashi by inebriating him and locking him in a bath house without his sword. However, Musashi, wielding a huge broken beam, slays Dengoemon and his followers aided by Dengoemon’s daughter Itohagi (right) who has fallen in love with Musashi. Kuniyoshi, however, depicts the event beside a mill-stream and a large waterwheel. Seiran, “Clearing Weather” from a set Mitate hakkei, “Selection for the Eight Views.” Published by Joshuya Juzo, 1846.

     
     

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

     
     

    Status: Available

     
     

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      Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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      A vertical diptych showing Rochishin demolishing the temple gate on Mount Godai. There are conflicting versions of this event: Some suggest he gained entry to kill a gang of thieves. However, it seems that he was drunkenly staggering back to the temple after consuming a large quantity of wine and is barred entry by the monks. In a temper he demolishes the entrance and the large Buddhist guardian figure (Kongojin). The abbot dismisses him and sends him to a lesser temple. Rochishin ransui Godaisan Kongojin o uchikowasu no zu, “Picture of Rochishin in a Drunken Rage Demolishing a Guardian Statue (Kongojin) on Mount Godai.” Published by Matsui Eikichi, 1887. He figures in the Chinese classic Tales of the Water Margin, the Suikoden (jp. Suikoden) and is often referred to as the “Flower priest” because of his floral tattoos.

       
       

      Very fine impression: This is the earliest state with a pigment used on the guardian’s torso that does not oxidise. (Exactly the same can be seen on the first editions of the Kinryusan Temple at Asakusa from Hiroshige’s 100 Views of Edo. Later printings use a different pigment on the huge lantern that oxidises badly.) It was also republished by Shimizuya Tsunejiro. Extensive burnishing. Fine colour. Very good condition. Signed Yoshitoshi.

       
       

      Status: Available

       
       

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        Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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        A poem by the celebrated poet Sutoku-in from the series Hyakunin isshu no uchi, “One Hundred Poems for One Hundred Poets” which was compiled in 1235 by Fujiwara Teiki (1162-1241). Shows the exiled Emperor Sutoku (1119-64) standing on a rocky outcrop above turbulent rapids. His wrath causes a thunderstorm with lightening. One of the very best designs from the set. Published by Ebisuya Shoshichi, Ebine, 1840-42. Only 58 of the 100 prints are known. Various translations of the poem exist, here is one:

         
         

        Because the current is swift
        Even though the rapids
        Blocked by a boulder
        Are divided, like them, in the end
        We will surely meet, I know

         
         

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

         
         

        Status: Available

         
         

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          Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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          Kintaro rigyo o toru, “Kintaro Captures the Carp.” The “golden boy” of superhuman strength, a.k.a. Sakata no Kintoki and Kaidomaru, grapples with a giant carp which had been terrorizing the neighbourhood. There are conflicting stories about Kintaro’s origins but he is normally shown with his mother, Yama-uba, on Mount Ashigara where he developed a friendship with the mountain animals. The carp is associated with enormous strength and consequently needed great power to overcome it. From a set of fine vertical diptychs published by Matsui Eikichi, this design in 1885. It was republished by Hasegawa Tsunejiro in 1897. Arguably the best print from the set and one of Yoshitoshi’s finest designs.

           
           

          Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. With full margins: This set often comes with the left margin, with the publication date, trimmed off. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi ga..

           
           

          Status: Available

           
           

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            Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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            Koshibe no Sugaru amidst a thunderbolt and lightning captures a raiju (thunder monster) in the village of Toyora. Toyora no sato ni rai o torau. Its body was composed of lightning and usually in the form of a wolf or dog. Its cry sounded like thunder. Raiju is the companion of Raijin, the Shinto god of lightning. Although normally tranquil, during thunderstorms it became agitated and attacked trees. (Those that are struck by lightning are said to have been scratched by Raiju’s claws.) He presented it to the Emperor. Published by Nishimura-ya Yohachi, c. 1834-5. Robinson SIc.2. A wonderful design.

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

            Status: Available

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              Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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              A triptych from a set of ten: Dai Nippon shiryaku zue, “Short Illustrated History of Great Japan.” Each print is in the form of an unrolled makimono. This design shows the third son of the twelfth century Emperor Keiko, Yamato Takeru no mikoto (Wo-usu). His father was constantly sending him on dangerous missions making him suspect that he wished his death. One such journey was to the Emishi in northeast Japan. On complaining about this to his high-priestess aunt, Yamatohime, she gave him the famous sword Ame no murakumo no hoken to aid him. On his arrival, the ruler of the Emishi lured him onto open grassland which he set on fire. Wo-usu used his sword to cut the grass, evade death, and start new fires to kill his enemy. Published by Kobayashi, 1880. A fine design.

               

              Fine impression of first edition. Fine colour. Very slight crease bottom margin of centre sheet, otherwise fine condition. Signed Taiso Yoshitoshi.

               

              Status: Available

               

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                Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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                A triptych showing an exploding land-mine throwing bodies and horses into the ether. Taiheiki Masakiyo nansen no zu, “Masakiyo’s Difficult Battle from the Taiheiki.” Figures identified in the print are the 14th century warriors Sato Shukei no Kami Masakiyo and Shimura Masazo Katsutoyo, but by way of avoiding censorship, it is actually showing Kato Kiyomasa (1562-1611) and Kimura Matazo Shigekatsu. It may also be that the design alludes to the rogue samurai in Choshu Province during the summer of 1866. Published by Yamashiroya Jinbei, 1866. One of Yoshitoshi’s great designs. In fact, this is a reworking of a similar composition in a book early in his career, Ehon jitsugokyo dojikyo yoshu of 1853.

                 

                Fine impression and colour. Lovely oxidation of the orange pigment. Fine condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.

                 

                Status: Available

                 

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                  Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                  A triptych showing the famous battle on Gojo Bridge. The story relates how Benkei only needs one more blade to add to the 999 he has wrenched from samurai attempting to cross the bridge in order to fashion an invincible weapon. He meets Ushiwaka Maru (Minamoto no Yoshitsune’s childhood name) and challenges him to a fight on the bridge. Yoshitsune is aided by Sojobo, King of the Tengu (white-bearded in the centre) and other yamabushi tengu. Benkei loses the fight and becomes Yoshitsune’s loyal retainer. Published by Enshuya Hikobei, 1847-50. Robinson T194.

                   

                  Fine impression, colour and condition. A lovely copy of this triptych. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

                   

                  Status: Available

                   

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                    Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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                    A triptych Taira Kiyomori hi no yamai no zu, “The Fever of Taira no Kiyomori.” Kiyomori’s wife, Niidono, dreams that the King of Hell, Ema, is coming for Kiyomori for his crime of burning the Rushana Buddha. His family gather around him and pray but to no avail. He dies on the 4/2/1181. Shows Niidono and her son beside a convulsed Kiyomori. Behind are visions of hell with Ema and figures who may have been Kiyomori’s victims. Published by Akiyama Buemon, 1883.

                     

                    Fine impression, colour and condition. A lovely copy of this triptych. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

                     

                    Status: Available

                     

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                      Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                      Chapter 32: Umegaye, “Plum brach” from an o-tanzaku set: Buyu nazorae Genji, “Heroic Comparisons for the Chapters of Genji.” Shows the Minamoto samurai Kajiwara Genda Kagesuye (1162-1200) fighting at Ikura-no-mori during the Genpai wars between the Taira and Minomoto clans. He has a plum branch stuck in his utsubo “quiver” in honour of his love Umegaye. The branch makes him an easy target for his enemies but he fights on regardless. Published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c 1843.

                       
                       

                      Very fine impression. Fine colour. Slightly trimmed at bottom, otherwise fine condition. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

                       
                       

                      Status: Available

                       
                       

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                        Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                        A triptych showing Shoguntaro Taira Yoshikado (centre), his sister Takiyasha-hime (left), and Yoshikado’s retainer, Iga Jutaro, watching magic toads wrestling. Huge toads loom above them. Shogun Taro Yoshikado mikata wo atsumen ga tame etc. Takiyasha-hime was known for her toad magic which she had gained from a scroll containing their secrets given to her by her brother. Published by Tsuru-ya Kiyemon, 1842-3. Robinson T.89.

                         

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

                         

                        Status: Available

                         

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                          Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                          An o-tanzaku print, Yugao chapter from the fifty-four chapters of Genji, the Genji Monogatari. A tenth century romance written by Murasaki Shikibu. From a set Buyu nazoraye Genji, “Heroic Comparisons for the Chapters of Genji.” In this case showing Benkei creeping up on Ushiwaka on Gojo Bridge in Kyoto. The story relates how Benkei only needs one more blade to add to the 999 he has wrenched from samurai attempting to cross the bridge in order to fashion an invincible weapon. Benkei loses the fight and becomes Yoshitsune’s loyal retainer. Published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c. 1843.

                           

                          Fine impression and colour. Very good condition. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

                           

                          Status: Available

                           

                           

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                            Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                            Oiwa and her ghost: Yondaime Ichikawa Kodanji IV no Oiwa bokon, “The Spirit of Oiwa Performed by Ichikawa Kodanji IV.” Probably in the play Atari mimasu yotsuya no kikigaki, performed at the Kawarasaki Theatre, 1848. The popular story has many versions, the gist being that Oiwa’s husband, Kamiya Lemon, falls in love with Oume, the daughter of a rich neighbour. Oume’s family poison Oiwa so that Lemon can marry the daughter. The poison hideously disfigures Oiwa who comes back to haunt Lemon. Published by Ebiya Rinnosuke, 1848.

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

                            Status: Reserved

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                              Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                              Ichikawa Kodanji IV as the ghost of Asakura Togo in the play Higashiyama Sakura zoshi, “The Story of Sakura of Higashiyama.” Based on historical events in 1653 with the characters’ names changed (Asakura Togo was actually Sakura Sogoro). The story tells of a village chief who was forced to witness the beheading of his sons before being crucified by the cruel samurai Lord Hotta Kozuki, after he had protested at the levy of unfair taxes. Sakura’s ghost returns to haunt Hotta’s castle. In fact the left sheet of a diptych. However, nearly always sold as a single sheet as the other side does not marry up, is undistinguished and was probably sold separately. Published by Sumiyoshi Masagoro, 1851. Beside the signature is the seal shita-uri, “low sale” meaning it was sold “under the counter” due to censorship laws prevalent at the time. This is the very rare first edition with the carver’s seal Hori Take, Yokokawa Takejiro, to the right of the publisher’s seal on the left. This was removed on later editions. One of the great ghost prints.

                               
                               

                              Fine impression, colour and condition with gum applied to the eyes (only found on the first edition).Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

                               
                               

                              Status: Available

                               
                               

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                                Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                A poem by the celebrated poet Oe no Chisato from the series Hyakunin isshu no uchi, “One Hundred Poems for One Hundred Poets” which was compiled in 1235 by Fujiwara Teiki (1162-1241). Shows two porters with an empty palanquin beneath a haloed moon. One of the best designs from the set. Published by Ebisuya Shoshichi, Ebine, 1840-42. Only 58 of the 100 prints are known. Various translations of the poem exist, here is one:

                                 
                                 

                                Looking at the moon
                                Thoughts of a thousand things
                                Fill me with sadness –
                                But autumn’s dejection
                                Does not come to me alone

                                 
                                 

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

                                 
                                 

                                Status: Available

                                 
                                 

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                                  Kobayashi KIYOCHIKA (1847-1915)



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                                  A snow scene showing Sakura Sogoro, the leader of a peasant rebellion, kneeling to thank the ferryman Jinbei for the selfless deed of taking him across Lake Inba. Soga watashiba no zu from Choga kyoshin kai. Published by Matsuki Heikichi, 1884.

                                   
                                   

                                  Fine impression, colour and condition with extensive splashed gofun. Signed Kiyochika ga

                                   
                                   

                                  Status: Available

                                   
                                   

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                                    Katsukawa SHUNSHO II (Active 1818-1830)



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                                    Minamoto no Yoshinaka Shitenno to tomoni Kiso no okuyama ni Tengu o taiji su, “Minamoto Yoshinaka and His Four Retainers Defeat the Tengu in the Deep Mountains of Kiso.” Minamoto no Yoshinaka is seen in the centre panel, Higuchi Kanemitsu on the right holding a sword and Imai Kanehiro on the left panel. Tengu are winged demons or spirits known for their fencing abilities, have long noses or bird-like beaks, and are associated with the ascetic practise of Shugendo and wear the garb of its followers, the Yamabushi. Published by Fujiokaya Hikotaro. Rare: Another impression is in MFA, Boston, accession number 11.21594-6.

                                     
                                     

                                    Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Signed Shunsho ga.

                                     
                                     

                                    Status: Available

                                     
                                     

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                                      Utagawa KUNISADA II (1823-1880)



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                                      A triptych showing the fight on the roof of the Horyukaku Tower of Koga Castle beside the Tone River. A popular scene from the complex novel Nanso Satomi Hakkenden, “The Diary of Eight Dogs” by Takizawa Bakin (1767-1848). The macabre tale revolves around the eight offspring of a supernatural marriage between a princess and her father’s dog and their commitment to restore the fortunes of the samurai house of Satomi. Shows Inuzuka Shino Moritaka defending himself against the chief of police Inukai Kempachi Nobumichi. Published by Tsutaya Kichizo 1854.

                                       
                                       

                                      Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichijusai and Baichoro Kunisada ga.

                                       
                                       

                                      Status: Available

                                       
                                       

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                                        Katsukawa SHUN’EI (1762-1819)



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                                        Shows the half-Chinese, half-Japanese hero Watonai overcomes a man-eating tiger in China by using a charm from the Ise Shrine. He holds a post with the characters reading Daijinga, “Grand Shrine” used in the inner and outer shrines at Ise. Published by Wakasaya Yoichi (Jakurindo), c 1810. Rare.

                                         

                                        Fine impression and colour. One small backed edge wormhole, otherwise very good condition. Signed Shun’ei ga

                                         

                                        Status: Available

                                         

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                                          Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)



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                                          A triptych showing the Shinto Storm God Susanoo about to slay the eight-headed dragon, Yamata no Orochi, at the head of the Hi River in pouring rain. The dragon devoured virgins and had eaten the seven daughters of two earthly deities, seen top right. The eighth, Kushi-inada-hime, also on the right, is saved by Susanoo who encourages the dragon to drink eight-times brewed sake from eight vats which intoxicates it enough to be killed. Rare: Chikanobu is not known for this type of subject. Published c 1870s.

                                           

                                          Fine impression, colour and condition. Mica applied to sky and the rain printed in silver. Full size. Signed Yoshu Chikanobu hitsu.

                                           

                                          Status: Available

                                           

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                                            Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                            Saito Toshimoto 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 14th century. But in fact the subject of this set of fifty prints 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 in the set.

                                             

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

                                             

                                            Status: Available

                                             

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                                              Utagawa YOSHITSUYA (1822-1866)



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                                              A triptych with title Taiheike Yakiyama-Goye no zue, “Picture of the Slope of Burning Mountain in the Taiheiki.” Shows the Japanese Daimyo Sato Masakiyo (Kato Kiyomasa), who was a leading general in Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s invasion of Korea, far left, and his men encountering a monstrous serpent surrounded by bats, tengu and flying goblins on a haunted mountain. Published by Kagaya Kichibei, 1861.

                                               

                                              Fine impression, colour and condition. A lovely copy of this triptych. Signed Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga.

                                               

                                              Status: Available

                                               

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                                                Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                                Inuyama Dosetsu, one of the eight dog heroes, enveloped in a conflagration. The heroes represent a Confucian ideal or Buddhist regulation and meet various adversaries in the epic Nanso satomi hakkenden, “Biography of the Eight Dogs” written by Takizawa Bakin between 1814 and 1842. Dosetsu is gifted with magic fire and is seen here with pine sprigs wrapped in paper clenched between his teeth. The subject represents Warabi Station (seen top left) from a set Kisokaido rokujuku tsugi, “Sixty-nine Stations along the Kisokaido.” In fact, a pun on the word warabi which can also mean “straw fire.” The bales can be seen bottom right. Published by Izutsuya Shokichi 1852. The best design from the set.
                                                ga.

                                                 
                                                 

                                                Fine impression and colour. Lightly backed and very slight vertical fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi

                                                 
                                                 

                                                Status: Available

                                                 
                                                 

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                                                  Tamagawa SHUNSUI (Active 1772-1781)



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                                                  A hashira-e, “pillar print” by a rare artist, a pupil of Choshun who went on to teach Katsukawa Shunsho. Produced a few chuban, hosoban, and pillar prints. Shows the Minamoto (Genji) warrior Kumagai Naozane ,above, attacking the Taira (Heike) warrior Taira no Atsumori, below, at the battle of Ichi-no-Tani in 1184 during the Genpei war. Pillar prints were introduced to hang, when mounted, on the pillars of a Japanese house. Consequently, they often come browned, creased or faded and finding good examples is difficult. Rare: Another impression is in MFA, Boston, acc. no. 28.500.

                                                   
                                                   

                                                  Very good impression and colour. Light toning but otherwise very good condition. Signed Tamagawa Shunsui ga.

                                                   
                                                   

                                                  Status: Available

                                                   
                                                   

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                                                    Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                                    A rare early Kuniyoshi triptych, Minamoto no Yorimitsu no Shitenno tsuchigumo taiji no dzu, showing Minamoto no Yorimitsu (Raiko) and his loyal retainers: Watanabe no Tsuna, Usui no Sadamitsu, Sakata no Kintoki and Urabe no Suetake killing the giant “Earth Spider.” Numerous versions exist of this story but basically Raiko and his followers have to tackle various horrendous apparitions in a cave within the hill Kagura ga oka near Kyoto, eventually to be faced by a beautiful woman who envelops Raiko in cobwebs. He slays her and her body turns into a spider, the head being twenty-five feet long and eyes shining like the sun and moon. He cuts off the beast’s head and the carcase reveals the many bodies devoured by it. Published by Maru-ya Seijiro, c 1838. Robinson T46 and illustrated in colour, Kuniyoshi, B.W.Robinson, Phaidon 1982, plate 37.

                                                     

                                                    Very good impression and colour. Minor creasing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.Very good impression. Slight fading, otherwise good colour. Very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

                                                     

                                                    Status: Available

                                                     

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                                                      Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                                      The general Morozumi Masakiyo, Lord of Bungo and a retainer of the Takeda Clan (Shingen of Kai Province) in a battle with the Uesugi Clan (Kenshin of Echigo Province), The wars taking place between 1553 and 1563. From a set Koetsu yusho den, “Stories of Courageous Generals of the Provinces of Echigo and Kai.” Masakiyo is shown committing suicide by inserting his sword into his mouth while being blown up by a land-mine. As with so much in Japan, the land-mine originated in China from early times. Published by Sumiyoshiya Masagoro, c 1848-9. One of the “three great deaths” of these wars.

                                                       
                                                       

                                                      Very good impression with extensive sprayed pigment around the exploding mine. Slight fading, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

                                                       
                                                       

                                                      Status: Available

                                                       
                                                       

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                                                        Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                                        The poet Dainagon Tsunenobu (1016-97), seated at the window of his study having recited his most famous poem which speaks of the evening breeze in Autumn, is visited by an enormous ghost who screams a poem by the Chinese poet Bai Juyi (Jap: Hakuraten). From a set Hyakunin isshu no uchi, “One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets.” A compilation by the celebrated poet Fujiwara Teika in 1235. Only 58 of the set are known published by Ebine c 1840-42. A number of variant impressions exist of this design with the apparition printed either much darker or lighter, or the background darker and other minor differences. These all appear to be contemporaneous as the printers experimented. This impression appears to be the most successful. A fine design from an underrated set.

                                                         
                                                         

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

                                                         
                                                         

                                                        Status: Available

                                                         
                                                         

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                                                          Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839 – 1892)




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                                                          Watanabe no Tsuna on horseback in the rain. One of the finest designs from Wakan hyaku monogatari. Published by Daikin, 1865/2.

                                                           

                                                          Fine impression and colour. Minor wormage otherwise very good condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga.

                                                          Status: Available

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                                                            Utagawa SADAFUSA (Active 1830s – 1840s)




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                                                            An original sumi woodblock for two chuban prints from a Kanadehon Chushingura set. The upper design being Act VII, the tea-house Ichiriki, Kyoto with Yuranosuke; the lower showing Act VIII, the bridal journey with Konami and her daughter Tonase on the Tokaido Road. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            Status: Available

                                                             

                                                             

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                                                              Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)


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                                                              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

                                                               

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                                                                Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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                                                                Minamoto no Ushiwakamura battling with Kumasaka Chohan. From the fine set Yoshitoshi mushaburui, “Yoshitoshi’s Courageous Warriors.” Published by Kobayashi, 1883-1886 (this being 1883).

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                Fine impression and colour. Light toning, otherwise fine condition. This is the first edition. There are a number of later states and the set was republished by Tsunajima in 1886.

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                Status: Sold

                                                                 

                                                                 

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                                                                  Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                                                  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

                                                                   

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                                                                    Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                                                    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

                                                                     

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                                                                      Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                                                      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

                                                                       

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                                                                        Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                                                        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

                                                                         

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                                                                          Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                                                          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

                                                                           

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                                                                            Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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                                                                            A triptych showing Ushiwaka Maru (Minamoto no Yoshitsune’s childhood name), attended by Kisanda, practising fencing with the karasu or “crow” tengu in a forest glade on Mt. Kurama, north of Kyoto. His training in martial arts is being supervised by a white-bearded yamabushi tengu, Sojobo, King of the Tengu. (The yamabushi were followers of Shugendo– a shamanistic mountain ascetism.) Yoshitsune (1159-1189) is the best known Japanese warrior and a popular subject for Japanese artists and craftsmen. Famous for exploits such as the battle on Gojo Bridge with Benkei and the battle of Dan-no-ura. Published by Enshuya Hikobei, 1851-2. Robinson T264.

                                                                            Fine impression. This is the first state with gradation on the rocks top left. Fine colour. Very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

                                                                            Status: Sold

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                                                                              Utagawa YOSHIKATA (Fl. 1841-1864)



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                                                                              A triptych showing the second battle of Uji River on February 19th, 1184. The centre sheet shows Taira Minamoto Yoshitsune and Benkei with their horses leading the troops to defeat Minamoto no Yoshinaka. The bridge had been dismantled so the small army had to ford the river which was in spate, because of early snow melt, against volleys of arrows and abatis barriers in the river bed (a method of cutting trees down, sharpening their ends and staking them into the river bed facing the enemy). Published by Iseya Tokichi, 1863.

                                                                              Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Isshinsai Yoshikata ga.

                                                                              Status: Sold

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                                                                                Kobayashi KIYOCHIKA (1847-1915)



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                                                                                Taira no Tadamori Mido hoshi o toraen zu. The story relates how the Emperor Shirakawa was perturbed by a monster in the precincts of the Mido Temple at night. He commands the samurai Taira no Tadamori to kill it. The triptych shows Tadamori discovering that the monster is, in fact, the bedraggled old priest of Mido Temple who steals oil from the stone lanterns. Published by Hara Taneaki, c 1883.

                                                                                Very fine impression with particularly fine gradation and printing. Fine colour. Minor edge damage, otherwise fine condition. Full margins: This design often comes with the title and or publisher’s seal trimmed. Signed Hoensha Kiyochika hitsu.

                                                                                Status: Sold

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