Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A courtesan biting on a tissue about to write a love letter from the set Ukiyoe jinsei tengankyo, “Types of the Floating World Seen Through a Physiognomist’s Glass.” The glass top right. These professionals who purported to look at people’s features and give counsel based on their countenance were called Ninsomi or simply Somi. This set of ten prints showing different female personalities have their characteristics written up above. Utamaro produced two fine sets based on this theme in 1792-4 and c 1802: Fuji ninso jupon and Bijin gomenso. The clenching of the tissue is always an indication of arousal. Published c 1830 by Moriya Jihei (Kinshindo).

 

Fine impression with blind-printing. Fine colour. Small repaired binding holes and very slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A bust portrait of the actor Bando Hikosaburo V as Samezaya Shiroza compared to Lin Chong (from the famed Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan, “Outlaws of the Marsh”) retold by Takizawa Bakin (1767-1848) in his novel “The Water Margin: New Illustrated Edition” published in 1805. There are three groups of three prints with background motifs of Pine, Bamboo (as here) and Plum, being the symbols of longevity. He is shown with a heavily tattooed arm of plum blossom and his coat is decorated with a design of a large eagle enveloping his shoulders. Published by Hayashiya Shogoro, 1859.

 

Very fine impression. Fine colour and condition. Signed Ni Konomi Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Available

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A triptych showing the great wrestling match between Matano Goro Kagehisa and Kawazu Saburo Sukeyasu. The match was refereed by Ebina Gempachi and occurred during a hunting expedition organised by the general Minamoto no Yoritomo in 1176 near Mt. Akazawa. Kawazu was the eventual victor after a rematch, throwing Matano by twisting his foot behind him – a throw still known as the kawazu in his honour. Kawazu was later found murdered – his death being avenged by his sons Juro and Goro. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, 1838-40. An earlier version was designed by Kunisada as well as there being an excellent example by Kuniyoshi.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An original hanshita-e (preparatory drawing) for a triptych showing, from the left, Nakamura Kamenojo I as the geisha Azuma standing above Kawarasaki Gonjuro I as Yamazakiya Yogoro, Bando Kamezo I as Settanaoshi Chogoro standing above Onoe Kikugoro IV as Kumasaka Ocho, and Onoe Kikugoro IV as Akogi Gennojo standing above Onoe Kikujiro II as Onnadayu Okoyo. The play was Yume musubu cho ni torioi performed at the Ichimura-za theatre 3/1856. These first drafts by the artist themselves survive because a more detailed drawing was needed by the blockcutter, and this was normally given to an assistant to execute. Or the drawing was never taken up by the publisher, for whatever reason. Sumi and touches of red with some pentimenti. (This was also most likely a published print by Sanoki as it is from the same group as others offered here.) Signed on two sheets Toyoukuni ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An original hanshita-e (preparatory drawing) for a triptych showing, from the left, the actor Bando Takesaburo I as Nagoya Sanza, Ichimura Uzaemon XIII as the Shinzo (“courtesan’s apprentice”), and Nakamura Fukusuke I as Fuwa Banzaemon. This is actually from the dance Sanpukutsui Kabuki no irodori performed at the Ichimura-za theatre, 5/1855. The publisher was Sanoki. These first drafts by the artist themselves survive because a more detailed drawing was needed by the blockcutter, and this was normally given to an assistant to execute. Or the drawing was never taken up by the publisher, for whatever reason. Sumi and touches of red with some pentimenti. Signed Toyokuni ga on the three sheets. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A sheet of original drawings being hanshita-e for an ehon. Shows, above, a seated samurai and a female figure to the right holding a mirror. Below, actors in a garden setting. Sumi with touches of red on thin paper laid onto thicker Japanese paper, 14 x 10 in; 36 x 25 cms. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An original hanshita-e (preparatory drawing) for a published diptych showing, on the left, the actor Onoe Kikujiro II as Tatsuhime – in reality Yawata, the younger sister of Kotoda. On the right is Iwai Kumesaburo III as Kudo Kanaishimaru. The play is Matsu icho Tsurukame Soga performed at the Nakamura-ya theatre, 1/1854. The publisher of the print was Sanoki. These first drafts by the artist themselves survive because a more detailed drawing was needed by the blockcutter, and this was normally given to an assistant to execute. Or the drawing was never taken up by the publisher, for whatever reason. Sumi and touches of red. Signed Toyokuni ga on both sheets. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A fine original fan painting showing a woman of Ohara; a mountain village north of Kyoto. These Oharame collected brushwood and firewood in the fall to sell in Kyoto. They are often depicted and obviously caused a stir when they entered Kyoto to ply their trade. The custom has evidently been going on since the 12th century. She is shown holding a flower and sitting on her bundle of firewood.

 

 

 

Full colour on prepared paper mounted as a fan, 6.5 x 17in; 16.5 x 43.2 cms (paper area). In very good condition. Signed Kunisada ga with indistinct seals, probably Kuni Sada. A charming painting.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)



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Moon from a set Furyu settsugekka, “A Fashionable Snow, Moon, Flower.” An uncut fan print showing the actor Iwai Kumesaburo III as Shirai Gonpachi. Kumesaburo last played this role in the play Kakitsubata tamuke no harakawado performed at the Kawarasaki-za theatre in 3/1850. Published by Kojima Jubei (who specialised in fans) in 3/1853.

 

Very fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)



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An exceedingly rare fan print showing a bust portrait of Ichikawa Danjuro VII as Soga no Goro wearing the iconic kuruma bun wig. This famous story has many versions but basically it tells how Kawazu Sukeyasu was murdered by his cousin Kudo Suketsune. Sukeyasu left two sons and his widow remarried a man called Soga. He adopted the two children and they waited patiently for an opportunity to kill Suketsune which came when he was hunting near Mt. Fuji. They killed him but were themselves slain in the ensuing battle. Published c.1827 by Maru-Mata, a publisher who seems to have only produced fan prints for a few years. Possibly Kunisada’s finest actor design in this format. A design I have never seen and probably unique.

 

Very good impression. Good colour. Dismounted from a fan and sold “as is” with all imperfections. Signed Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An uncut fan print showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro VIII in the role of Hanakawado no Sukeroku from a set: Mitate gonin otoko go-hiiki omoizashi, “A Parody of the Five Chivalrous Commoners, a Cup of Sake from their Fans.” Shows the actor holding a number of pipes; a shakuhachi protruding from his back. Published by Yama-Ta, 2ic/1852.

 

 

Extremely fine impression and colour. Minimal soil at bottom, otherwise fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An uncut fan print showing the actor Sawamura Chojuro V as Ono no Tofu (aka Ono no Michikaze) in the play Ono no Tofu aoyagi suzuri performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre, 3/1850. Shows the character holding a large umbrella. Published by Ibaya Senzaburo, 1850 (who seems to have specialised in fans).

 

 

Extremely fine impression and colour with extensive burnishing. Minimal soil at bottom, otherwise fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An uncut fan print, Ryogokubashi natsu no kei, “View of Ryogoku Bridge in the Summer” from a set Hana no Edo go-ohashi, “Five Major Bridges of Edo.” Shows a beauty on the bridge with fireworks exploding above. Fireworks became so popular in the summer that the authorities had to limit them to the river. Published by Kojimaya Jubei !843-46.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Minor soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An untrimmed fan print Fuji Tsukuba aiaigasa, “Fuji and Tsukuba Sharing an Umbrella.” A play on images and words: Shows the actors Nakamura Shikan II and the onnagata actor Iwai Kumesaburo II sharing an umbrella against the snow. Tsukuba, about 50 kilometers from Edo, was an area where both Fuji and Mount Tsukuba could be viewed together. Mount Fuji being the female and Mount Tsukuba the male. An aizuri-e background (common to all the designs in this set). Published by Ibaya Senzaburo, c 1829. (The publisher’s seal is on the umbrella on the following design from this set. He published a number of Kunisada’s fan sets.) Rare.

 

Very fine impression with extensive burnishing. Fine colour. Several expertly repaired binding holes, otherwise fine condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An untrimmed fan print Fuji Tsukuba aiaigasa, “Fuji and Tsukuba Sharing an Umbrella.” A play on images and words: Shows the actors Ichikawa Ebizo V and the onnagata actor Iwai Shijaku I sharing an umbrella against the wind. Tsukuba, about 50 kilometers from Edo, was an area where both Fuji and Mount Tsukuba could be viewed together. Mount Fuji being the female and Mount Tsukuba the male. An aizuri-e background (common to all the designs in this set). Published by Ibaya Senzaburo, c 1829 – the publisher’s seal is on the umbrella. He published a number of Kunisada’s fan sets.) Rare.

 

Very fine impression. Fine colour. Several expertly repaired binding holes, otherwise fine condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A long surimono showing a fan with an image of Ichikawa Danjuro VII as Soga no Goro in the play Yanone, “The Arrow Head.” To the left a fan shape with a poem by Sansho VII (Ichikawa Danjuro VII) and irises. Extremely rare. This impression sold by me in 1997. Issued c 1814. These long surimono were published with the poems attached but were invariably removed by collectors as being a distraction from the image.

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor soil, otherwise good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga. A name bottom left corner reads Onishi Tokuzo II.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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A complete setsugekka koban surimono-style set of triptychs: Snow, Moon, Flowers. Each triptych shows actors in the snow (from left: Matsumoto Koshiro V; Iwai Kumesaburo II; Ichikawa Danjuro VII); in moonlight (Iwai Shijaku I; Bando Mitsugoro III; Iwai Hanshiro V); and admiring the spring blossoms ( Onoe Kikugoro III; Segawa Kikunojo V; Seki Sanjuro II). Published by Mikawaya Seiemon (who specialised in these koban surimono-style prints) c 1825. Extremely rare. One other complete set is in the Harvard Art Museum, acquisition numbers 206831; 207183; 207139.


 

Very fine impressions. These are not true surimono, although they are listed in some books and catalogues as such. However, they are printed with the same delicacy with beautiful blind-printing. Fine colour. Small nicks out of the corners, otherwise fine condition. Each sheet signed Oju Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold




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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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Kaido-maru (Kintoki) with his forest companion, a bear-cub, attacking a giant white monkey. The chubby Kintoki is always shown red-hued and wielding a giant axe. In this case he heaves a tree above his head. Published by Moritaya Hanzo, c 1827. Rare.

 

Very good impression. Fine colour. Slightly trimmed, otherwise very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858) and Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A triptych showing Mitsuuji, the romantic hero of the Inaka Genji (“A Rustic Genji”) accompanied by a beauty looking out across a snow-covered garden to where a group of girls are building a giant snow rabbit. Hiroshige and Kunisada collaborated on a number of these Genji triptychs in the 1850s and this is one of the most charming. Published by Moriya Jihei of Kinshodo, 12/1854 (and therefore probably in anticipation of the following year, which was a Year of the Rabbit).

 

Fine impression. The early state with gradation behind the rabbit and bokashi on stream and in the sky. Fine colour. Fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga on two outside panels and Yuki no kei oju, “Snow landscape by request” Hiroshige hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786 – 1865)




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The actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII as the medicine peddler in the play Uiro-uri and Ichikawa Danjuro IV in the votive panel above as Kagekiyo in the play of the same name. Both these plays are included in the Kabuki Juhachiban ” Eighteen Favourite Plays” chosen to illustrate the special art of the Danjuro line of actors. The lower half of Kagekiyo’s costume includes the characters “Dragon King” “Ryu-o” suggesting the date 1820. The upper half has the Gogawa hour-glass poetry club symbol.


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



Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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Taira no Tadamori (1096-1153) grappling with the oil thief from a set: Honcho komei kagami, “A Mirror of our Country’s Renowned Heroes.” Published by Joshuya Kinzi, c 1835. The story relates how the Emperor Shirakawa was perturbed by a monster in the precincts of the Mido Temple at night. The samurai Taira no Tadamori was ordered to kill the beast only to discover a harmless old monk who steals a little oil from the stone lanterns. Kunisada designed a number of sets like this around this date.

 

Fine impression and colour. Very slightly trimmed, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An extremely rare set of hosoban designs: Pictures of Various Women of imperial Japan. Shows, on the left, Princess Joruri – the lover of Yoshitsune. On the right Suke no Tsubone, the wet-nurse of the child Emperor Antoku who both drowned at the battle of Dan-no-ura in 1185. Published by Shimizuya Tsunejiro, 1845.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Small repaired wormage on each sheet, otherwise very good condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858) and Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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Prince Genji being poled in a punt on a lake. From a set of such triptychs published by Iseya Kanekichi in 1853. Furyu Genji fune asobi, “Fashionable Genji Enjoying a Pleasure Boat.”

 

 

Very fine impression and colour. Slightly trimmed at bottom, otherwise fine condition. Signed Hiroshige ga and Toyokuni ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A vertical diptych showing the famous waka poet Ono no Komachi (c. 1825-c. 900) being sheltered by attendants from an upcoming storm. She is famous for composing a poem and praying for rain at the behest of the Emperor Junna during a period of drought across Japan. The poem she composed, shown above, she threw into the pond of the Shinsen-en Garden. It started raining after three days . The poem reads: Though it is called the “land beneath the sun [Japan]” surely it must rain here. Published by Kikakudo, c. 1833-35. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858) and Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A triptych Shinshu Sarashina tagoro no tsuki, “The Moon Reflected in the Rice Fields at Sarashina, Shinano Province.” Shows Mitsuuji, the romantic hero of the Inaka Genji (“A Rustic Genji”), admiring the multiple views of the moon reflected in the paddy-fields and about to compose a poem. On the left, Mount Kyodai. This phenomenon was greatly admired and pilgrimages were made to view it. There was a plethora of these Genji parody prints in the 1850s following two popular Kabuki plays and Hiroshige and Kunisada collaborated on a number of such triptychs. Interestingly, this design has a date seal for 3/1861 making it probably the last and based on an existing collaborative hanshita-e. Published by Moriya Jihei. Rare.

 

 

Superb impression and colour. Slightly trimmed round; sheets connected and album backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga and Toyokuni ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An early warrior print showing Rokuson Okeigi (Minamoto no Tsunemoto [894-961]) battling a giant dragon. From a set Honcho komei kagami, “A Mirror of Our Country’s Renown Heroes” published by Joshuya Kinzo, c. 1835.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kocho Kunisada ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A surimono showing the strong woman of Omi, Okane, stopping a runaway horse from a temple by holding its tether down with her geta. Published for the year of the Horse, 1834.

 

Fine impression and colour. Areas of gold and silver. Some slight crinkling, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A triptych showing Prince Genji (far right) on a stone terrace looking out at Suma Beach, Akashi, thronged with visitors enjoying themselves. Two of his party look as though they are going to collect shells. A mitate of Chapter XIII of the Genji Monogatari where Genji is exiled at Akashi, Akashi no ura shiogari no zu. There was a proliferation of sets based on the original Genji Monogatari and the Ryutei Tenehiko (1783-1842) update at this time. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, 1/1855.

 

Fine impression and colour. Bokashi on the edge of the bay at top (missing on later editions). Fine condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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An extremely rare and unusual surimono: I have only seen two impressions – both of which have passed through my hands, and one of which was gifted to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Shows the most famous playwright of his age – Tsuruya Nanboku IV (1755-1829). His crest is clearly visible on his shoulder. He died on the 27th of the 11th month, 1829 and this surimono must date from shortly after that: A sort of shini-e – very unusual in surimono form. He wrote the most famous Kabuki ghost story: Yotsuya kaidan, “Yotsuya Ghost Story” (1825) as well as the quick-change play Osome no nanayuki (1813).

 

Fine impression and colour. The poems above printed in gold. Slight soil. Very small restored binding holes at left edge, and slight trimming at bottom. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A rare diptych, Kansho Tempaizan mangan. This famous tale (with different versions) is the basis for the play Sugawara denju tenarai kagami, “Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy” which was performed at the Kawarazaki Theatre, Edo, 9/1832. This Mt. Tempai scene shows Kan Shojo (Sugawara no Michizane), a Heian politician and poet, transforming himself into a demon and invoking a storm. Umeomaru , a former retainer of Kan Shojo is seen climbing the mountain on the left sheet. There is also a fine vertical surimono diptych of this subject issued by Kunisada in 1832. Published by Yamaguchi Tobei. A fine design I have not catalogued before.

 

Fine impression and colour. Imperceptible centre fold, otherwise fine condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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Narukami Shonin, a wicked priest, from the play Narukami. One of a set Toyokuni kigo kijutsu kurabe, “A Contest of Magic Scenes by Toyokuni.” The series published by Hiranoya Shinzo, 1862. The set is known for its deluxe printing.

 

Superb impression and colour. Fine condition. Signed Kio Toyokuni hitsu (77 year’s old).

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)



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Winter from a set of the four seasons showing Prince Genji and attendants in the snow-covered grounds of a palace. Published by Enshuya Hikobei, c 1849-50.

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858) and Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A triptych showing Mitsuuji, the romantic hero of the Inaka Genji (“A Rustic Genji”) accompanied by a beauty looking out across a snow-covered garden where a group of girls are building a giant snow rabbit. Hiroshige and Kunisada collaborated on a number of these Genji triptychs in the 1850s and this is one of the most charming. Published by Moriya Jihei of Kinshodo, 12/1854 (and therefore probably in anticipation of the following year, which was a Year of the Rabbit).

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga and Yuki no kei oju, “Snow landscape by request” Hiroshige hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An exceptionally rare triptych showing Minamoto no Yorimitsu (Raiko) and his loyal retainers, from left to right: 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 the 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. An extremely early Kunisada print published by Nishimuraya Yohachi, c 1815. I have not seen this design before or located another impression.

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Full size with extra paper around. Signed Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An original painted fan showing the actor Danjuro VIII. The fan has been used and dismounted from the frame and laid onto Japanese paper, hence the rib marks. Signed Toyokuni fude with red toshidama seal. Painted c 1858. Sold “as is.” Extremely rare.


Status: Sold




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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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A very early and extremely rare diptych showing Hakamadare Yasusuke and Hirai no Yasumasa. A famous story depicted many times by other artists during the following century. The story relates how Yasumasa, an accomplished flautist, is playing his flute one evening on Ichihara moor. Unknown to him, the villain Hakamadare Yasusuke is creeping up to steal his sumptuous robe. At the last minute Yasusuke is so captivated by the beauty of the music that he abandons his plan. It turns out he is Yasumasa’s brother and is given a fine set of robes. Published by Iseya Rihei (Kinjudo) c. 1815.

 

Very good impression and colour. Trimmed round. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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Kan Zhang Liang (below) and Huang Shigong from the set Kan-So gundan, “Battle Tales of the Han and Chu.” The success of the Chinese warrior tales retold by Takizawa Bakin (1767-1848) in his novel “The Water Margin: New Illustrated Edition” published in 1805 resulted in the commissioning of Kuniyoshi to produce his famous series based on the heroes of the “Water Margin” in the late 1820s. Likewise for this set by Kunisada from around the same date. The story relates how Zhang Liang was walking near the Yishui Bridge one day when he met an old man who threw his shoe from the bridge and ordered Zhang Liang to return it and place it on his foot. Without thanking him the old man walked off but with the instruction to meet him five days later. Zhang Liang duly returned at dawn five days later to find the old man already there. Annoyed, the old man reiterates his command but with the same result. The third time Zhang Liang arrives at midnight so impressing the old man with his punctuality, fortitude and humility that he presents him with a book the knowledge from which will bring peace and prosperity to the empire during troubled times. He also tells him to meet again in thirteen years when he will be the yellow rock at the foot of Mount Gucheng. The old man was Huang Shigong. Zhang Liang visits after thirteen years, finds the rock, builds a shrine and is buried with it. Kunisada’s design shows the moment that the shoe is presented back to Huang Shigong. Published by Eijudo c 1827 (although this impression does not have publisher’s mark). The set was reissued by Joshuya Juzo.

 

Very fine impression. Fine colour and condition. Signed Oju Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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A diptych showing Musashi-bo Benkei, renowned for his herculean strength, battling with the young Onzoshi Ushiwaka Maru (Yoshitsune) on Gojo Bridge. The story relates how Benkei (1155-1189) wandered 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 mountain tengu. Following Yoshitsune’s victory Benkei became Yoshitsune’s retainer. Published by Hei, c. early 1830s. (This publisher produced many of Kunisada’s prints in the early 1830s.) Very rare.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Kochoro Kunisada ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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Two volumes complete Yakusha sugao natsu no Fuji, “Portraits of Actors Compared to Fuji in the Summer.” (In other words, without white makeup.) Vol. one: Preface signed Santoan Kyozan. Frontispiece illustration showing Mt. Fuji and nine double-page illustrations of actors and their acolytes in a variety of pursuits offstage. Postscript dated Bunsei 11 (1828). Vol: two: Preface by Tsuruya Namboku IV dated 9/1827. Frontispiece illustration showing a washbowl and fan and nine double-page illustrations of actors from Edo, Kyoto and Osaka. Postscript signed Kochoro Utagawa Kunisada ga with seal Gotokan to tekichoku ko and the publishers: Tsuruya Kiemon; Yamamoto Kyubei; Eijudo (Nishimuraya Yohachi); Kansendo (Izumiya Ichibei); Kinrindo (Moriya Jihei). This fascinating book shows actors in and around their residencies. Replaced title slips and covers. Fine impressions and very good colour. Minor marks and thumbing. Rare.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 




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Kochoro KUNISADA (1786-1865)




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An aizurie fan print of the Husband and Wife rocks, Futami beach, Ise Province. A favourite beauty spot and a Shinto site showing the tasselled rope hanging between the two formations. From a series of extremely rare aizurie fan prints published 5/1830 by Daikokuya. Indeed, this may be the only known impression of this design.


Very good impression and colour. Restored and laid onto stable Japanese paper.


Signed Oju Kunisada ga ( “By special request” ).


Status: Sold

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