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Torii KIYONOBU II (1706-1763)




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An hosoban showing the actors Ichimura Uzaemon VIII (above) and Segawa Kikujiro I in an onnagata role. Published by Emiya Kichiemon, c. 1746. Another impression in the MET (JP831), listed as Kiyonobu I.

 

 

Very good impression. Good colour and condition. Signed Torii Kiyonobu hitsu.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1785)




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An hosoban benizuri-e print in beni, yellow and blue showing the actor Segawa Kikunojo II (bottom left) in the role of musume Kagekiyo and Ichimura Uzaemon IX (top right) as Osu…, possibly Osutoko. Musume means “daughter”, while Kagekiyo was the famous general of the Heike clan. However, if Kikunojo were playing Kagekiyo’s daughter then it would be written Kagekiyo musume. (His daughter was named Hitomaru and she does indeed feature in many plays about him.) But in this case, it perhaps refers to a female version of Kagekiyo’s daughter after all and it’s just written the other way round for some reason, then it would identify the performance and date nicely: the play would be Soga yawaragi Soga performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre in the 1st month of 1767. Published by Nishimura, Eijudo han. Extremely rare. (Many thanks to Paul Griffith for the elucidation above.)

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight vertical fold and small expertly restored wormhole near bottom edge. Signed Torii Kiyomitsu ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726-1792)




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An hosoban showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro V as a blacksmith forging a sword blade. An unidentified role published c. 1780.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA II (1823-1880)




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The actor Segawa Kikunojo V in the role of Ama Myochin, the Cat Witch, from the set Hakkenden inu no soshi no uchi, the Eight Dog Heroes, published by Tsutaya Kichizo, 5/1852. The play was premiered at the Ichimura-za Theatre, 1/1852. This is the highlight of the play: The monstrous cat murders the father of the dog hero Inamura Kakutaro and then assumes his likeness. However, as shown here, its hairy body and giant claws can still be seen behind the bamboo curtain. The best design from the set.

 

 

Very fine impression with blind printing and burnishing. Fine colour and condition. This is the only full size impression I have seen as they almost always come from albums and are trimmed to the common denominator. Another (trimmed) impression is illustrated full page in Japanese Prints IV- Hiroshige and the Utagawa school – Rijksprentenkabinet/Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1984, no. 180, page 105. Signed Ichiyosai Kunisada ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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The actor Nakamura Utaemon II playing two roles (out of seven), Nana yaku no uchi, which are: the Manzai street entertainer Tsuchiemon (seated) and Kudayu’s daughter Okumi, in the play Chushin koshaku performed at the Nakamura-za Theatre, 7/1812.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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The actors Matsumoto Koshiro V (right) as the barber Nagata Taro; in reality Kamada Masakiyo, and Segawa Michinosuke I as Genkichi’s wife, Osoro; in reality Nagata’s younger sister, in the play Wakazakari Heike Monogatari, performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre, 11/1806. Published by Hachi.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Sold

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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A fine triptych showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX in Shibaraku role. Kabuki juhachiban no uchi: shibaraku, “The Eighteen Famous Kabuki Plays: Shibaraku.” Published by Fukuda Kumajiro, 8/1895. Illustrated on the front cover of Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900). Amy Reigle Newland. Hotei publishing, 1999.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Oju Kunichika hitsu.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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A vertical diptych showing the actor Onoe Baiko III in the role of the vengeful and disfigured spirit of Kasane above Sawamura Tossho I as her husband Kinoshitagawa Yoemon. From the play Kuruwa kruwa date no ooyose performed at the Ichimura-za theatre 1836. Published by Kawaguchiya Chozo, 1836. Extremely rare.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Very good condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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A vertical triptych showing Onoe Kikugoro as Okiku’s ghost; Ichikawa Danjuro IX as the daimyo Aoyama Tessan, and Onoe Kikujiro V and Onoe Matsusuke V as his retainers in the play Sarayashi kesho no sugatami, “Mirror of the House of Blue Dishes.” Performed at the Kabuki-za Theatre, 10/1892. There are two versions of the story: In one, the mistress of the house breaks a valuable blue and white Dutch plate, hiding it in a well and blaming the maid-servant Okiku, who then commits suicide in the well. In the other, Okiku refuses to become Aoyama’s mistress who hides the plate and threatens to accuse her of theft. She throws herself into the well. But in both cases Okiku’s ghost comes back to haunt Aoyama. Published by Fukuda Kumajiro, 1892.

 

 

Very fine impression and colour. Very small nicks out of top margin, otherwise fine condition. Full, untrimmed size. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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The actor Danjuro VIII as the ghost of Seigen from a set of prints Mitate sanjurokkasen no uchi, “An Imaginary Thirty-six Poets” published by Iseya Kanekichi in 1852. The relevant poet in this case is Ariwara no Narihira. The corrupt priest Seigen broke his vows of chastity when he fell in love with Sakurahime. Danjuro played this role in the play Yami no ume yume no tamakura, in the New Year’s programme at the Kawarazaki theatre, Edo, in 1/1853.

 

 

Very fine early impression with glue applied to the eyes. Fine colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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The actor Ichikawa Kodanji IV in the role of the vengeful and disfigured spirit of Kasane (Kasane no Bokon) from a set of prints Mitate sanjurokkasen no uchi, “An Imaginary Thirty-six Poets” published by Iseya Kanekichi in 1852. The relevant poet in this case is Fujiwara Toshiyuki no Ason.

 

 

Very fine early impression with glue applied to the eyes. Fine colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A diptych showing the actors Bando Shuka (left) as O-kaji, wife of Danshichi, with sword drawn attacking Seki Sanjuro III as the old hag, wife of Giheiji of Mikawa-cho in pouring rain. From the play Shinzo Tsurifune kidan performed at the Ichimura theatre, 5/1852. Published by Kakumotoya Kinjiro. Kuniyoshi designed another version of this play in the same year for another publisher.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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A triptych showing the actor Ichikawa Sandanji I as Akiyama Kiimori amidst an intense conflagration started in an attempt to capture him, Yakuchi no ba. From the series Meiijiza shinkyogen, “New Plays from the Meiji Theatre.” Published by Akiyama Buemon , 1894.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. The sheets joined. Signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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The actor Onoe Kikugoro V as Aoyagi Harunosuke from a fine and rare set of 14 actor prints: Seiu kandankei, “A Barometer of Emotions.” This being Full Tide. The set published by Okura Magobei, 1877. Presumably showing Kikugoro in the play Shianui Monogatari written by Ryukatei Tanekazu; Ryutei Tanehiko II; and Ryusuitei Tanekiyo. The actor was a great friend of Yoshitoshi.

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight soil and creasing, otherwise good condition. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)




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A full-on image of the actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Kamakura Gongoro Kagemasa in the Shibaraku play with the voluminous costume associated with the role. Title: Kabuki juhachiban no uchi/Shibaraku, “The Eighteen Famous Kabuki Plays:Shibaraku.” Kunichika made a number of prints, single, diptych and triptych, of this subject but this particular design is rare. Published by Mizuno Asajiro, c. 1895.

 

Very good impression and colour. Background partly blind-printed. Slight trimming losing publishing information on left edge of last sheet and slight soil. Otherwise good condition. Signed Oju Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Katsukawa SHUN’EI (1762-1819)




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A hosoban diptych complete showing Ichikawa Monnosuke II ( left sheet ) as Soga no Goro and Sawamura Sojuro III ( right sheet ) as Soga no Juro in the play Shunshoku Edo-e Soga performed at the Ichimura-ya in the first month of 1791. Published by Harimaya Shinshichi. Most hosoban multiples have become separated over time.


Very good impression, colour and condition. Completely untrimmed. Signed Shun’ei ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1821)




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The actor Ichikawa Omezo I in the role of Hannya no Goro in a Shibaraku scene. Part of the play Monomiguruma yuki no takadono performed at the Morita-za Theatre, 11/1810. Published by Kawachiya Genshichi. A striking design.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Small expertly repaired binding holes at top, otherwise fine condition. Full size. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Kitao SHIGEMASA (1739-1820)



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A hosoban showing the actors Ichikawa Komazo II (above right) in the role of Honcho Tsunagoro and Otani Hiroemon II (below) as Hantoki Kuroemon. The play was the second item (nibanme) on the programme which came after the first play Hatsuakinai omise Soga performed at the Nakamura-za Theatre, Spring 1767. The shop sign behind the actors reads Kinoeneya. Published by Miyaji, 1767.

 

Fine impression. Slight fading, otherwise very good colour and condition. Signed Kitao Shigemasa ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ryusai SHIGEHARU (1803-1853)



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The actor Nakamura Utaemon III as the ghost of Taira no Tomomori in the play Yoshitsune senbon zakura, “Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees.” Famous for tying himself to an anchor and jumping into the sea at the battle of Dan-no-Ura (1185). Performed at the Kado Theatre, 5/1831. An Osaka print published by Wataya Kihei.

 

Fine impression and colour. Very good condition. Signed Gyokuryutei Shigeharu ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa NOBUKATSU (Active 1824-1841)



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An Osaka print showing the actor Onoe Baiko III as Kan Shojo (Sugawara Michizane) in the play Sugawara denju tenarai kagami, “Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy.” Performed at the Takeda Theatre, 3/1830. This is the famous Mt. Tempai scene from the play. Published by Tenmaya Kihei. Shows Kan Shojo transformed into the Thunder God wreaking revenge on his enemies.

 

Fine impression and colour. Crease near right edge, otherwise very good condition. Signed Tessai Nobukatsu ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)



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An actor portrait showing Matsumoto Koshiro V (standing) in the role of Banzui Chobei and Bando Mitsugoro III as Shira Gonpachi next to a kago in Sakurada Jisuke I’s play Banzuin Chobei shojin manaita. Performed at the Nakamura-za 7/8/1803. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi.

 

Very good impression and condition. Grey ground. Almost perfect colour. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1785)




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An hosoban showing the actor Ichimura Uzaemon IX in the role of Hanako performing the famous dance in Musume Dojoji, “The Maiden at Dojoji Temple.” Hanako is allowed to dance before the new bell at the temple only to reveal herself as the spirit of Kiyohime who killed the priest Anchin hidden beneath the first bell. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi c 1765.

 

 

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Signed Torii Kiyomitsu ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726-1792)




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An hosoban showing the actor Otani Hiroji III wearing a red straw cape in the snow and holding aloft a crystal ball. An unidentified role published c. 1775. Evidently Hiroji was very popular with female theatre-goers.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor soil and wear, otherwise very good condition. Signed Shunsho ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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Shows the actor Onoe Shoroku I as Osakabehime, Princess Osakabe, a phantom who haunted the battlements of Himeji Castle. The character appeared in the play Matazoro Shoroku Osakabe banashi performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre from 22/5/1814. But this is probably a shini-e published the following year as it bears the information that Shoroku was 71 when he died (10/1815). Shoroku was renowned for his ghost roles. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei who also published an impressive Kunisada vertical diptych of the same subject in 1814.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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The actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII in the drama Shibaraku. He is seen in his voluminous robe with the large Sansho (three square) motif which was the symbol of the Danjuro acting clan. The origins of the drama go back to Danjuro I in 1697 although there have been changes over the centuries. It is not a play as such but a scene which lasts about 50 minutes and is inserted during interludes. Evidently Shibaraku, which translates as “Wait a minute” or “Stop a moment,” was first dramatically shouted by Danjuri I when his fellow thespians forgot or refused his cue to enter and take to the hanamichi, “flower path” set at right angles to the stage. It became so popular that it was included in the kaomise, “face-showing” performances every year. Published by Kawaguchiya Shozo, c. 1830.

 

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1785)




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An hosoban benizuri-e showing the actor Bando Hikosaburo II as Sanada no Yoichi Yoshitada in the play Ume ya suisen izu no irifune performed at the Morita Theatre, 11/1763. Yoshitada served the Minamoto Clan and is usually shown fighting his adversary Matano Goro Kagehisa. Published by Harimaya Shinshichi. Interestingly, the impression in the MFA, Boston, 06.404, has the publisher’s seal Nishinomiya Shinroku. Possibly a slightly later reprint. Kiyomitsu was the second son of Kiyomasu II.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Torii Kiyomitsu ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1785)




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An hosoban benizuri-e showing the actor Ichimura Uzaemon IX as Soga no Goro Tokimune, brandishing a club, and riding to avenge the murder of his father by Kudo Suketsune. Published c. 1768. (The publisher’s seal may be on the underside of the horse.) Kiyomitsu was the second son of Kiyomasu II.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Light album backing, otherwise very good condition. Signed Torii Kiyomitsu ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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An interesting and rare Kuniyoshi triptych showing actors relaxing in a busy teahouse. In fact this group appeared in the play Sumidagawa tsui no kagamon performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre from the 3/3/1852. Left sheet: Suzuki Mondo just stepping into the room dressed in a blue and white yukata played by Sawamura Chojuro V. Other actors are Nakamura Kanemon , Nakamura Kantaro and Arashi Jitohachi III. Centre sheet: The courtesan Shiraito of the Hashimoto-ya standing right played by Bando Shuka I. Another actor Nakamura Kamenojo. Right sheet: The thug Tsukubane Sanpei seated holding a cup played by Otani Tomoemon IV and Oyaso, Mondo’s wife, seated by an hibachi played by Onoe Kikujiro II. Another actor being Bando Matataro. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, 1852.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Sold

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A complete diptych showing the huge figure of the actor Ichimura Uzaemon XIII as Kozo Kikunosuke , a young thief, fighting the police on the roof of the Gokuraku-ji Temple. This is the culmination and Act V of the play Benten Kozo performed at the Ichimura-za Theatre, March 1862. Published by Shobundo, 3/1862. Rare: not listed in Keyes.

 

Fine impression and colour. Very lightly backed, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1785)



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Shows the standing figure of the kabuki actor Ichimura Kamezo I as Wankyu in the play Furiwakamura suehiro Genji which according to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which has another impression (no.21.8149), was staged at the Ichimura theatre, 11th month, 1760. But I have been unable to verify this. Certainly the date fits as Kamezo became Ichimura Uzayemon IX in 1762. Benizuri-e and a pale blue-grey. Published by Igaya Kan’emon.

 

Very good impression and colour. Very slight surface soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Torii Kiyomitsu ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ippitsusai BUNCHO (1763-1840)




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Ichikawa Danjuro V probably as Watanabe Kiou Takiguchi in the play Nue no mori ichiyou no matsu performed at the Nakamura-za in the 11th month of 1770. It was in this month that Koshiro III took the name of Danjuro V. Shows Danjuro in the iconic costume of the Shibaraku scene with the giant mon. Buncho was a connoisseur of paintings ( he wrote Buncho gadan [ Treatise on Painting ] ), and was one of the most important painters and print designers of this period. A fine design and extremely rare.


Fine impression. The background probably “turned” from a pale blue ( as usual ). Trimmed into signature at left, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ippitsusai Buncho ga.


Status: Sold

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)





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A rare 6-sheet design: Odori keiyo gakuya no zu, Odori keiyo nikai-iri no zu, “View of the Backstage and Dressing Rooms, Backstage at a Newly Opened Theatre.” The 1855 earthquake and resulting fire destroyed the Edo theatre district. Only five months later the first theatre – the Ichimura Theatre – was reopened. This print, issued the previous month, was an advertisement for the opening. A number of actors are recognisable by their mons. Published by Izumiya Ichibei, 1856, 2nd month.

 

Very good impression and colour. Some trimming, otherwise very good condition. This design is invariably trimmed as the designs that have survived are from albums where the top triptych had to fold down into the album. Signed Toyokuni ga.


 

Status: Sold

 

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MANGETSUDO (Active 1743-1747)



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An hosoban showing a youth impersonated by Onoe Kikugoro I standing outside the Yoshiwara. Above is a cartouche showing a gosho-guruma (a mid-17th century Imperial cart) and above the cartouche the word Kayoi: An allusion to the story of Shosho visiting Komachi. This is the right sheet of a triptych with title Yoshiwara Komachi sambukutsui, “Komachi of the Yoshiwara, Set of Three.” (See Hayashi catalogue, 1902, no. 325 for the complete triptych.) Another impression is illustrated in The Clarence Buckingham Collection Of Japanese Prints, The Primitives, AIC, p. 183, which lacks signature and publisher’s seal. Published by Okumuraya, c 1740. Nothing is known about Mangetsudo, other than he was a follower of Masanobu.

 

 

Very good impression. Some fading, otherwise good condition. Signed Mangetsudo.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Katsukawa SHUNKO (1743-1812)



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An hosoban showing the actor Ichikawa Danzo IV in the role of Tsuribune Sabu in the play Natsu matsuri kagami performed at the Morita-za Theatre, 7/1779.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Exceptional state of preservation. Signed Katsukawa Shunko ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa YOSHITORA (Active c. 1850-1880)




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The actor Bando Mitsuguro V as Yushide, a daughter of Shindo Saemon from the play Karukaya doshin tsukushi no iezuto. From an untitled set of prints designed in conjunction with Kunisada. It was intended to represent the culmination of Kunisada’s career using only the finest materials, engravers and printers. Published by Kinshodo between 1860-1864. 150 designs were envisioned but only 72 were published, with 12 being by Yoshitora who joined the project in 1862. The plot concerns the machinations of rival Daimyo to possess a rare gem stone. Yushide is caught up in the shenanigans, the outcome being that she stabs herself in the throat with the white arrow she wears as a hair pin.

 

 

Superb impression. Fine colour and condition. Signed Yoshitora ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Torii KIYOMITSU (1735-1785)



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The actor Segawa Kikunojo II as the Tennin (a devine being that is able to fly by means of a feathered kimono) from the play Hagoromo, “The Feathered Mantle.” She stands on Miho Beach, the feathered kimono caught in the tree behind her. The story relates how fishermen find the boa but will only return it if she performs a dance. Published c early 1760s.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour: Benizuri-e with beni, green and blue. Some light toning and soil, otherwise very good condition. Signed Kiyomitsu ga with kiyomitsu seal.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa YOSHIIKU (1833-1904)



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An Ichikawa Danjuro memorial portrait showing Kawarazaki Gonjuro I (Danjuro IX, 1838-1903) in the Shibaraku role looking up at his father, Danjuro babaa (Ichikawa Danjuro VII [1791-1859]) who had died the previous year. It was some years before Gonjuro finally adopted the Danjuro name in 1874. Published by Ebisuya, 1860.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Yoshiiku ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)



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The actor Sawamura Sojuro III in the role of Lord Ashikaga Yorikane on board the pleasure boat Takaomaru from the play Kimigatede Yoshiwara sodachi performed at the Miyako-za Theatre, 7/1795. This is the right-hand sheet of a famous diptych. The left sheet (showing Segawa Kikunojo III as the courtesan Takao) is illustrated in the Popper collection, no. 245, Parke Bernet sale catalogue, 9/1972. Another impression was in the Vever collection, illustrated in Vever sale catalogue, Sotheby & Co, Part 1, lot 278, p. 260, 26/3/1974. Published by Senichi (Izumi-ya), 1795 when Toyokuni was producing his greatest designs.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Attributed to SEIKOKU (Active c. 1794-1818)




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A kapazuri-e (stencil print) hosoban showing the actor Kataoka Nizaemon VII (1755-1837) as Togoro. A striking design and probably unique. There are similar prints signed by Chorakusai (Seikoku) and the publisher Suharaya Tosuke was active c. 1812-1829 and is known to have published prints by Seikoku. Published c. 1817.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition.

 

 

Status: Sold

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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A hosoban showing the actor Iwai Kiyotaro II as Arakawa Taro and standing above him in an onnagata role Osagawa Tsuneyo II as the lady Koromode Gozen in the play Toki ni oshu Tsubo no ishibuni performed at the Ichimura-za Thatre in the 11th month 1802. At the top right is a seal which reads Inu, “Dog” (for Dog year 1802). Published by Murataya Jirobei.

 

 

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Toyokuni ga. e actor Kataoka Nizaemon VII (1755-1837) as Togoro. A striking design and probably unique. There are similar prints signed by Chorakusai (Seikoku) and the publisher Suharaya Tosuke was active c. 1812-1829 and is known to have published prints by Seikoku. Published c. 1817.

 

 

Status: Sold

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