Please contact JapanesePrints-London for prices of catalogued items. We also purchase prints, paintings and books individually or as collections. Richard Kruml also appraises and values collections.

 

Dealing in fine Japanese prints, paintings and books since 1968.

 

Mori SOSEN (1747-1821)



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A large and extremely fine painting, sumi and light colour on silk, 48 x 22 in; 122 x 56 cms. Shows monkeys on rocks and a large tree beside a mountain stream. Sosen’s life is not well documented but he is known to have studied under the Kano artist Yamamoto Joshunsai (?-1781) before being drawn into Maruyama Okyo’s (1735-1795) artistic circle and his style is more Shijo than anything else. His animal paintings were evidently highly valued by Okyo. He was an immediate favourite with eastern collectors because of his monkey paintings at which he excelled, although he was more versatile than literature implies and highly accomplished at painting other animals. But his images of monkeys take precedence and he is considered the pre-eminent painter, east and west, on this subject. It is alleged that he lived in the woods for three years eating fruit and nuts to study the monkeys and other animals, and is also supposed to have had a cage of monkeys at the back of his house to better observe them. There are many copies of Sosen’s monkey paintings but no one could duplicate the way Sosen builds up their fur with multiple fine brush strokes. Signed Sosen with seals Sosen and Morizo. In extremely good condition. The painting authenticated by the artist Yamamoto Baiso (1846-1921) on the inside lid of the box.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 




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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)


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An original painting, sumi and light colour on silk, 11 x 18 in; 28 x 45.75 cms. Shows the sea off the Miura Peninsula in Sagami Province with Mount Fuji rising above mist in the distance. Hiroshige used the same view for one of his designs for the Thirty-six Views of Fuji set published in 1858. A beautiful painting with a signature dating it to the mid to late 1830s.

 
 

Minor creasing and old mount, otherwise good condition. Signed Hiroshige with Hiro seal.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 


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Okumura MASANOBU (1686-1764)



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The fifth month from a set of twelve prints Someiro no yama: Neya no hinagata, “Mountains of Dyed Colours: Patterns for the Bedroom.” A haiku poem relating to the time of year on each design. Published c. 1740. Shows a couple in flagrante in a room with sliding doors painted with images of Mount Fuji and the poet Ariwara no Narihira admiring the mountain. One of the great Shunga sets with fine contemporary hand-colouring: The careful colouring on impressions from this set was obviously carried out by skilled artisans and is exceptional with the sumi screens being almost painterly: Colouring is often later on early shunga prints, and even if contemporary can be slipshod. Masanobu was a great innovator, developing new formats and technical advances. Unidentified collector’s seal bottom left. Rare.

 
 

Very good impression. Slight weakening along laid lines, otherwise very good condition.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Okumura MASANOBU (1686-1764)



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A design from a set of twelve prints Someiro no yama: Neya no hinagata, “Mountains of Dyed Colours: Patterns for the Bedroom.” A haiku poem relating to the time of year on each design. Published c 1740. Shows a couple in flagrante in a room with a free-standing screen and a view outside of an engawa and garden with a stone water cistern. One of the great Shunga sets with fine contemporary hand-colouring: The careful colouring on impressions from this set was obviously carried out by skilled artisans and is exceptional with the sumi screen being almost painterly: Colouring is often later on early shunga prints, and even if contemporary can be slipshod. Masanobu was a great innovator, developing new formats and technical advances. Unidentified collector’s seal bottom right. A beautiful design. Rare.

 
 

Very good impression and condition.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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The KANBUN MASTER (Fl. c. 1660-1673)



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A large, 11.5 x 16.75 in; 29.25 x 42.5 cms, sumi print showing a courtesan with her client. These are the earliest known ukiyo-e prints with no known book, painting or print being signed. The nomenclature was given by Dr. Richard Lane because the artist worked almost entirely during the Kanbun Period (1661-1673). There is some debate as to whether all the books and prints are by the same hand, rather than by several or more individuals. However, Dr. Lane – who was the pre-eminent authority on shunga – saw a consistency in the style of drawing. Extremely rare.

 
 

Very good impression. Some slight soil, but in remarkably good condition given the date.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Suzuki HARUNOBU (1724-1770)



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A beauty standing beside a stream where wild chrysanthemums grow. A mitate-e (parody) of Kikujido, the Chrysanthemum Boy, who was the favourite of the Chinese Emperor Mu (c. 950 B.C.). However, because of court jealousy, he was banished but had his exile eased by the Emperor who gifted him the ability to read sacred Buddhist texts. He became an immortal, spending his days surrounded by chrysanthemums and inscribing words of peace on the flowers’ petals. This is the second state: The first (private edition) is a calendar print with a signature (of an amateur) Kinga Ko and seal and has the year and its cyclical signs for 1766. These Harunobu calendar prints, printed in small numbers, were commissioned by wealthy individuals between c. 1764 and 1766 and so popular that they were published commercially. Rare.

 
 

Very good impression and colour Very minor edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Suzuki Harunobu ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)



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Hokusai’s interpretation of a poem by Ono no Takamura (802-852). From an unfinished set: Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki, “Pictures of One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets Explained by the Nurse.” The poems are from an anthology Hyakunin isshu, “One Hundred People, One Poem Each” compiled by the poet Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241). The poem was composed on the eve of Takamura’s banishment to an isolated island, later to be pardoned by the Emperor. (His boat can be seen in the distance.) One of Hokusai’s most beautiful prints showing women divers (ama) fishing for abalone (awabi). The divers are seen between waves reminiscent of a Victorian theatre stage set. Published by Eijudo, 1835-1836. A considerable number of original drawings exist for the set that were not turned into prints and are in various museums and private collections.

 
 

Fine impression and colour. Very slight edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Saki no Hokusai.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Torii KIYONAGA (1752-1815)



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A fine actor design from a series of at least 31 such degatari prints (showing singing or chanting at a theatre). A scene from Shosa Hatsuhige yakko tanzen, played at the Ichimura-za theatre November 1783. Shows Nakamura Nakazo as Tanzen seated with a fan looking at Onoe Matsusuke as a young lady (in reality a white fox). To the right Ichimura Uzaemon as a yakko. The chanters Tomimoto Buzen-dayu and Tomimoto Itsuki-dayu at the back accompanied by Namizaki Tokuji. Published by Nishimura, 1783. See Hirano, Kyonaga, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, no. 544, pl. LXXX.

 
 

Very good impression and colour. Slight edge soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kiyonaga ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Torii KIYONAGA (1752-1815)



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Shows Benkei humourously kneeling to tie his slipper prior to the fight on Gojo Bridge. The story relates how Benkei, of Herculean strength, was subdued by the young Onzoshi Ushiwaka Maru (Yoshitsune) on Gojo Bridge. Benkei was wandering around Kyoto with the intention of relieving 1000 samurai of their swords. One night, with one more sword to go, he saw Yoshitsune playing a flute and wearing a golden sword at the Gojotenjin Shrine. They agreed to fight on Gojo Bridge in southern Kyoto. However, Yoshitsune was too agile for Benkei and had been educated in the secrets of fighting by the tengu. Following Yoshitsune’s victory Benkei became Yoshitsune’s retainer. Published by Nishimura-ya Yohachi.

 
 

Very good impression. Slight soil and weakening along chain lines, otherwise good condition. Signed Kiyonaga ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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Shows the monk Mongaku Shonin doing repentance under the Nachi waterfall in winter. The story relates how Endo Morito (the secular name of Mongaku) falls in love with Kesa Gozen, the beautiful wife of his colleague Watanabe Wataru. Eventually she conspires to allow him into their bedroom at night where he can kill her sleeping husband. However, unknown to Morito, he kills Kesa who has substituted herself to save her honour. Morito becomes a monk taking the name Mongaku and, as a penance, prays under the freezing waterfall for three weeks reciting incantations to the deity Fudo Myoo. He is often depicted with the attendants of Fudo Myoo, Seitaku and Kongaru, above him. From a set Honcho komei kagami, “Mirror of Famous People of our Country.” Published by Joshuya Kinzo, c. 1835. This subject lends itself to some marvellous designs by various artists.

 
 

Very fine impression. Fine colour. Some trimming, otherwise fine condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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Samidare no kei, “Summer Rain” from an untitled set of eight landscapes published by Kinkodo c. 1832. Shows a man washing a horse in light rain. A group of pilgrims appear over a hill to the left. Part of the scene is based on an illustration from Kawamura Bumpo’s Bumpo sansui gafu of 1824. There are various states of this print. This is the earliest and most successful with the rain printed in green (not black) and the rain splashing in the river bottom right is blind-printed, not inked-in. Rare.

 
 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Full size. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A geisha partly illuminated by a lantern on a boat from a set Tsuki no kage shinobiau yo, “Secret Meetings by Moonlight.” Published jointly by Izumiya ichibei (as here) and Yamamoto Kyubei, c. 1836-38.

 
 

Very good impression and colour. Minor creasing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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An original drawing, sumi and colour on thin paper laid onto Japanese paper. A preliminary design for a fan print, the outline indicated in red. Apparently never published. Shows a woman in the box on the left picking mulberry leaves (?), signed Ryusai. And in the box on the right a woman possibly in the process of spinning silk, signed Hiroshige. Good condition.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Spring moon at the shore of Tsukudajima . One of a set of chu-tanzaku prints published by Shogendo, c. 1837. Tsukudajima was one of two islands at the mouth of the Sumida River. Originally a sanbar, it was reclaimed with earth and rocks and given its name by the first Tokugawa Shogun, Ieyasu, who invited thirty-three fishermen to live there in 1613 in order to provide fish for the rapidly expanding city of Edo. The fishermen came from Tsukudama near Osaka and it was they who became the proprietors of what would become the Tsukiji fish market. It must have been popular during the late Edo period as a place to visit and view the boats from teahouses on the shore because there are many prints depicting the area, especially under a full moon.

 
 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga. n.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Station Annaka from Kisokaido rokujukyutsugi no uchi, “Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaido.” Published by Kinjudo, the set was started by Eisen in 1835 who designed twenty-four prints before Hiroshige replaced him and completed the series before 1843. Shows the entourage of a feudal lord progressing along the road between rest houses.

 
 

Very fine impression of the earliest printing. Fine colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige g

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Shimotsuke Nikkosan urami no taki, “Back-viewed Waterfall on Mt. Nikko in Shimotsuke [Province].” From a set of 69 prints [Dai Nihon] Rokujuyoshi meisho zue, “Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces [of Japan]” published by Koshihei between 1853 and 1856, this being 1853. Figures gaze up at the back of the waterfall which thunders over the path. It is also known with variant colour schemes. Fine design.

 
 

Very fine impression with strong blind-printing on the fall. Fine colour and condition. Full size. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Looking Itchy: the appearance of a kept woman of the Kaei era [1848-1854]. Shows a beauty emerging from a mosquito net that has apparently not been entirely successful. From a set Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. The set depicts women of different backgrounds and occupations from the Kansei era through to the Meiji era with punning allusions to their situation or mood.

 
 

Very fine impression with strong blind-printing on the fall. Fine colour and condition. Full size. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A heavily tattooed fishmonger, Danshichi Kurobei, slaughtering his father-in-law, Mikawaya Giheiji, in a swamp. From a set Eimei nijuhasshuku, “Twenty-eight Famous Murders with Verse.” A series produced with Yoshiiku, each designing 14 prints. Published by Kinseido between 1866 and 1869, this being 1866. The story relates how Kurobei is instrumental in the release of the mistress of Lord Tamashimas’s son who was kidnapped by Giheiji. Outraged because he had previously supported Kurobei’s wife and child while he was in prison, he demands payment. The fight ensues.

 
 

Very good impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise good condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Tanaka Kanhachi falling backwards into a sea of mud from a set Kaidai hyaku, “Yoshitoshi’s Selection of One Hundred Warriors.” Sixty-five prints published by Ohashiya Yashichi between 1868 and 1869, this being 1869. The text in the square cartouches in this set refer to prominent warriors in the internecine wars of the 16th century but in fact the subjects are Shogitai soldiers. (Those that held out against the imperial forces and were massacred at Ueno, 4/7/1868.) A wonderful design from this excellent set.

 
 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi htsu.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A bloodied Sugenoya Kuemon resting his head on the hilt of his sword in stormy weather from a set Kaidai hyaku, “Yoshitoshi’s Selection of One Hundred Warriors.” Sixty-five prints published by Ohashiya Yashichi between 1868 and 1869, this being 1868. The text in the square cartouches in this set refer to prominent warriors in the internecine wars of the 16th century but in fact the subjects are Shogitai soldiers. (Those that held out against the imperial forces and were massacred at Ueno, 4/7/1868.) Possibly the best design from this fine set.

 
 

Fine impression of the early state with dark background and yellow at the bottom of the title cartouche. Fine colour and condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi htsu.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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The boy warrior Sakai Kuzo hurling a te-yari spear from a set Kaidai hyaku, “Yoshitoshi’s Selection of One Hundred Warriors.” Sixty-five prints published by Ohashiya Yashichi between 1868 and 1869, this being 1868. The text in the square cartouches in this set refer to prominent warriors in the internecine wars of the 16th century but in fact the subjects are Shogitai soldiers. (Those that held out against the imperial forces and were massacred at Ueno, 4/7/1868.) A wonderful design from this excellent set.

 
 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi htsu.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Uesugi Kenshin Nyudo Terutora. Shows Uesugi no Terutora (aka Kenshin) riding into battle through clouds of smoke against his long-standing adversary Takeda Shingen. From a set of 33 prints Yoshitoshi musha burui, “Yoshitoshi’s Courageous Warriors.” Published by Kobayashi Tetsujiro between 1883 and 1886, this being 1883. A fine design.

 
 

Very fine impression of the first edition. (Which should have a three-colour cartouche; two red seals and the publisher’s address in blue in the left margin.) It was reprinted by Tsunajima Kamekichi in 1886 and there are many late printings of the set. Fine colour and condition. Full size with extra paper at left. Signed Taiso Yoshitoshi ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Utagawa KUNIYASU (1794-1832)



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Shows a beauty after a bath. The poem above compares her to the young green shoots of the willow tree in spring. Published by Omiya Heihachi, c. 1820.

 
 

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

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1798-1861)



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Cao Cao (Jap. Shuso) and Pang De (Jap. Hotoku) in the Han river during the battle with Guan Yu. From a set of Chinese warrior prints: Tsuzoku sangokushi eiyu no ichinin, “Heroes of the Popular History of the Three Kingdoms.” Published by Joshuya Kinzo, c. 1836. Robinson S10.8 (although only known as a key-block proof). Rare.

 
 

Superb impression. Very fine colour and condition. As the day it was printed. Signed Chooro Kuniyoshi ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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A diptych showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Kamakura Gongoro Kagemasa in the drama Shibaraku, “Just a moment.” The large sansho (three square) motif was the symbol of the Danjuro clan and is repeated around the border. In the background are peonies, also associated with the Danjuro clan. Published by Tanaka Katsuzo, 1878.

 
 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Oju Toyohara Kunchika hitsu.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Isoda KORYUSAI (1735-1790)



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A pillar print, hashira-e, of a beauty after a bath cooling herself with a fan. A cat looks up adoringly from below. Above her is a temple bell wind chime, often hung in the summer. Masanobu laid claim to have invented the pillar print format. Roger Keyes has suggested that, because many large format prints from the 1740s were printed using two blocks of wood, there was a tendency for the blocks to separate during use, giving rise to the hashira-e shape. Probably the most interesting format in that the restrictions often led to creative compositions. And figures sometimes partially exit or enter from the side, giving weight to the theory of separating blocks of wood. Certainly, these prints were hung on pillars in houses, and because of this they often come browned, faded or damaged. Koryusai was the artist par excellence when it comes to pillar prints. Rare.

 
 

Very good impression and colour. Slight toning, but in very good condition for such a print. Signed Koryusai ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Utagawa YOSHITORA (1836-1887)



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A triptych showing the warrior Inukai Genpachi (the famous character from the Hakkenden) confronting a cat monster which has emanated from a horse on Mount Koshin. Other cat monsters stare in amazement. Published by Kojimaya Jubei, 1850.

 
 

Very fine impression. Fine colour. Imperceptible small binding holes, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichimosai Yoshitora ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1798-1861)



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A triptych Gishi shiju shichi-nin hommo wo toge…. Shows the Forty-seven Ronin crossing Ryogoku bridge with the head of their enemy while on the way to the Memorial Temple after carrying out their revenge. Yuranosuke bows to a mounted official on the near side. Published by Yamamoto-ya Heikichi , c.1847-50.

 
 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Slight thinning on first sheet, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A triptych from a set Bidan musha hakkei, “Eight Views of Warriors’ Fine Tales.” This design Togakushi no seiran, “Clearing Weather of the Togakushi Mountains.” Princess Sarashina, who is actually a female oni called Momji, “Maple Leaves,” having transformed herself, is seen screaming from behind a giant drum and raising a high wind scattering maple leaves against Taira no Koremori Ason who draws his sword to kill her. Published by Sanoya Tomigoro, 1868.

 
 

Extremely fine impression of the earliest state. Fine colour. Slight marks on first sheet, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gekko Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An untitled triptych showing two beauties and a maidservant lighting their way with a lantern and carrying a shamisen box. The beam of light from the lantern illuminates the foreground figures and a leaping dog but leaves the background figures in silhouette. Published by Mikawaya Seimon, c. mid 1820s. A fine design.

 
 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 
 

Status: Available

 
 

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