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Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831-1889)




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A triptych, Nanba senki no uchi, “The Battle of Nanba,” showing the Buddhist monk Tenkai (1536-1643) chanting a spell, and Okubo Hikozaemon (1560-1639), both retainers of Tokugawa Ieyasu, at the great battle of Domyoji, Osaka, in 1615. Tokugawa Ieyasu’s army clashed with the Osaka army of Toyotomi Hideyori. This led to the fall of Osaka and the death of Hideyori. On the right is a huge exploding land-mine disintegrating a Buddhist stone statue. Published by Ebisuya Shoshichi, 4/1874. Extremely rare: I have only seen one other impression of this design.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Trimmed, otherwise very good condition. Signed Seisai Kyosai and Oju Seisai Kyosai.

 

 

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Shotei HOKUJU (1763-1825)




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Shimosa Choshi no ura katsuo tsuribune, “Fishing for Bonito in Choshi Bay in Shimosa Province.” Hokuju, a pupil of Hokusai, produced a number of these fine “westernized” landscapes designed with stylised clouds, cubistic mountains and shadows cast by figures. This is one of the best. Bonito is a favourite fish in Japan where it is in the markets from around May each year. Choshin Bay has always produced the largest seafood catch in Japan. Hokuju produced a substantial body of work in this vein. However, he was not the only one. Okyo, Toyoharu, Hokusai, Kunitora, Kuninao and Shinsai also designed prints in this genre, as well as other artists producing examples. Interestingly, Hiroshige, the pre-eminent landscape artist, designed nothing like this. Indeed, the influences flowed the other way before too long, Hiroshige being a favourite of the Impressionists. This is the rare first edition published by Eijudo, c. 1820. His landscapes were republished by Yamamoto. Rare.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Very good condition. Full size. Signed Shotei Hokuju ga.

 

 

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Kishi GANTAI (1782-1865)




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An extremely large painting, 55.5 x 32 in; 141 x 81.3 cms, sumi and light colour on silk. Shows a pair of Sika deer, their summer coats spotted and white. Gantai was the son and pupil of Ganku, and together with his brother, Renzan, carried on the Kishi school tradition. With his father, worked on the paintings for the new Kanazawa Castle in 1809. A highly accomplished painter, especially of kachoga. This is possibly the largest Gantai painting and it’s interesting to compare with the gajo by him also offered on this update. In very good condition. Framed and glazed. Signed Chikuzennosuke Gantai hitsu with seals Gantai and Kunchin.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa YOSHITORA (Active c. 1840-1880)




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An oban with title: Furyu saya-e: oiran, “Elegant Sheath-Pictures: Oiran.”A catoptric (mirror as opposed to an oblique) anamorphic print showing a parading courtesan. These prints were meant to be viewed in conical or cylindrical mirrors placed at the bottom of the image. The flat distorted image was then seen undistorted. However, in Japan the image was viewed in the curved surface of a sword sheath. Anamorphosis was known in Europe in the early 15th century and also in China during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Published by Enshuya Matabei, c. 1845. Another impression is illustrated in Edo no asobi-e, Shinichi Inagaki, Tokyo Shoseki, 1988, plate 6. Very rare.

 

 

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Signed Ichimosai Yoshitora ga.

 

 

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Santo KYODEN (Kitao MASANOBU) (1761-1816)




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A pair of original paintings, full colour on silk, image size 38.5 x 15.5 in; 97.75 x 39.5 cms. Shows a courtesan on the left with a portrait of a novelist on the right. The paintings are signed “By special request” and were presumably commissioned by the novelist showing his paramour. I have not identified the novelist. Masanobu was a pupil of Shigemasa and was one of the leading authors and illustrators of kibyoshi, ehon and kyoka anthologies as well as being a painter and print artist. He illustrated the fine set of double-oban prints of courtesans in 1783-4: Yoshiwara keisai shin bijin awase jihitsu kagami. These painting must come from around this date as the pose of the courtesan is very similar to some of the figures in the above album. A controversial figure who ran foul of the authorities in 1789, subsequently ceasing to use the name Kitao Masanobu and thereafter his paintings are always spontaneous in an abbreviated style, often quite slight and signed Kyoden. Paintings fully finished like this are rare. In generally very good condition, although some loss of gofun. Signed Oju Kyoden Masanobu ga on each painting.

 

 

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Ichiunsai KUNIHISA (1832-1891)




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An original painting, full colour on paper with the black waistband heavily lacquered, image size 48 x 11 in; 122 x 28 cms. Shows a young beauty carrying a box. She wears an apron and has a towel slung over her shoulder, so is presumably an assistant in a kitchen or bathhouse or similar establishment. The narrow format enhances her natural elegance. Kunihisa was the pupil and son-in-law of Kunisada. Some repaired wormage, otherwise good condition. Signed Kunihisa ga with two indistinct seals.

 

 

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TORII School (c. late 1750’s)




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An original painting, full colour on paper with gold additions, image size 30 x 10 in; 76 x 25.5 cms. Shows a beauty holding up a puppet of the actor Bando Hikosaburo II. Painted c. late 1750s and possibly by Torii Kiyomitsu. In good condition with seal Torii.

 

 

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Yamamoto FUJINOBU (Active 1750-1770)




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An original painting, full colour on paper, image size 32.25 x 7 in; 82 x 18 cms. Shows a parading courtesan with her kamuro. A painter and print artist whose prints were always published by Yamamoto Fusanobu giving rise to the theory that Fujinobu was a pseudonym of the publisher. Much influenced by Harunobu. His prints are extremely rare. Slight creasing, otherwise good condition. Signed Fujinobu ga with indistinct seal.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Shibaura, shiohigari no zu, “Low Tide [or Ebbtide, or catalogued in some instances as Shell-gathering] at Shibaura” from a Toto meisho “Famous Places in the Eastern Capital” set of ten prints published c. 1831-2 by Kawaguchiya Shozo. Hiroshige’s first oban landscape set with some outstanding designs. Shibaura is now an area with high-rise residential towers. The first editions, as here, have decorative borders adding a western element into the designs. These were removed on later editions. Extremely rare in this state.

 

Fine impression and colour. Very minor edge soil and slight centre fold. Slight trimming of decorative border on left, otherwise very good condition. Prints from this set are often missing or have the publisher’s name and address on the right border trimmed. Signed Ichiyusai Hiroshige ga. (The last set to be signed like this.)

 

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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.

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE II (1826-1869)



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A view of a smoking Mt Asama, Shinano Province, from Shokoku meisho hyakkei, the “One Hundred Views of Famous Places in the Provinces.” Mt Asama is an active volcano which violently erupted in 1108. Subsequently there was another eruption in 1783 and since then there have been minor tremors. Published by Uoya Eikichi between 1859 and 1861 (this being 1859).

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A triptych showing Fujiwara no Hidesato being accompanied by a retinue of fish, octopuses and lobsters as he leaves the Dragon King’s Palace with the presents of inexhaustible rice, bolts of cloth, and a bell in gratitude for killing the centipede of Mount Mikami. Ryugujo Tawara Toda Hidesato ni sanshu no tosan o okura. Published by Maruya Kyushiro, 1858.

 

Very good impression. Good colour. Some light toning and soil. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYASU (1794-1832)



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A triptych Soshu Enoshima Benzaiten Iwaya narabi sairei no zu, “Picture of Iwaya, the Main Shrine, Pilgrims to the Display of Benzaiten at Enoshima.” Enoshima island was a popular place to visit with the Iwaya caves and the shrine of the Buddhist goddess Benzaiten (Benten), goddess of the arts, entertainment and wealth, and one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune. A fascinating print showing a multitude of various visitors. Published by Kawaguchiya Uhei, late 1820s. Rare.

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Kuniyasu ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The best design from a set of half-length otokodate figures: Kuniyoshi moyo shofuda tsuketari genkin otoko, “Men of Ready Money with True Labels Attached, Kuniyoshi Fashion.” Here showing Danshichi Kurobei emptying a bucket of water over himself. Danshichi was a fishmonger in the city of Sakai who murdered somebody in the mid-winterof 1697, the body only being discovered when the snow melted. He is often depicted pouring water over his head, although there are also versions where he commits the crime in a swamp. Published by Ibaya Kyubedi, 1845. Poem by Hoshitei.

 

 

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

 

 

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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 HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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A snow scene: Fukagawa kiba, “Fukagawa Timber Yards.” The yards date back and are the result of the Meireki fire of 1657. Large amounts of wood was required for expanding Edo and the wood yards were moved to this area of swampland east of the Sumida River. From the set Meisho Edo hyakkei, “One Hundred Views of Edo.” The set published by Uoya Eikichi 1856-58 (this being 1856). The set comprises 118 prints by Hiroshige and another by Hiroshige II. However, three prints are dated 10/1858, the month following Hiroshige’s death, and these are thought to be by Hiroshige II as well. They are: Ueno Yamashita, Ichigaya Hachiman and Bikunibashi.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.

 

 

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Hishikawa MOROSHIGE (FL. 1684-1704)




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An original painting showing a high-ranking samurai household at leisure. Moroshige was the senior pupil of Hishikawa Moronobu, and, it is said, was the father of Furuyama Moromasa. Sumi and full colour with gold additions on paper. 11.5 x 19 in; 29 x 48.25 cms. This is most likely from a handscroll as the height is correct, and the slight vertical striations indicate it has been rolled at some time. Painted c. 1700. Some slight loss of pigments, especially the verdigris and minor marks, but all commensurate with the age of the painting. The details on the costumes of the two main figures are exquisite.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I (1769-1825)




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An original drawing by the first Toyokuni. An hanshita-e diptych for a published set of triptychs with title: Yakusha juni tsuki, “Actors in the Twelve Months.” Shows the actors (from the left) Bando Mitsugoro III holding a pipe; Iwai Hanshiro V with an open book; Nakamura Utaemon III about to write a poem; and Segawa Roko IV with another pipe. They are compared to the months of the year, in this case July, the month of the Bon Odori festival and are also a parody of the Six Immortal Poets. The print published by Yamashiroya Toemon (active c. 1801-1817). In fact this set was published Spring, Bunka 6 (1809). Sumi on thin paper laid around edges onto another sheet. Some pentimenti and also shows the initial hurried under-drawing and with annotations for the finished print. Sold together with the two published sheets which shows the lanterns removed at top, the brazier bottom centre and other minor changes. In indifferent condition. An illustrated example of this complete triptych is in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts.

 

 

The print signed Toyokuni ga. Original hanshita-e by Toyokuni I are extremely rare. Sold “as is” with all imperfections.

 

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Mori SOSEN (1747-1821)




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A fine original painting, sumi and light colour on silk; 41.75 x 15 in; 106 x 38.1 cms. His 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 (1733-1795) 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 drawing other animals. But his images of monkeys take precedence and he is considered the pre-eminent painter, east or west, on this subject. He is said to have lived in the woods for three years eating fruit and nuts to better study the monkeys and other animals at close quarters. (Even if this is apocryphal it underlines the appreciation of his commitment to understanding the monkey.) Shows two monkeys on a bough beneath a large red sun. In very good condition. Genuine Sosens (and there are many copies) show a great skill in the way their fur coats are built up with hundreds of fine strokes. The box that goes with the painting has an inscription on the lid: “A painting of monkeys by Mori Sosen” and on the underside of the lid is a guarantee by Ayaoka Yushin (a Shijo painter and pupil of Shibata Zeshin, [1846-1910]) signed Ayaoka with seal Yutoku and dated June 1891. The painting signed “Painted by Mori Sosen early spring [=January] 1800” with seals Mori Shusho and Sosen.

 

 

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Toba HIROMARU (Active 1804-1818)




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An original painting showing a parading courtesan. Sumi and colour on paper, 45.5 x 11.25 in; 115.5 x 28.5 cms. A rare artist of the Utagawa school. Probably a pupil of Utagawa Toyohiro. His extant paintings show a considerable talent with particularly attenuated faces. Another example is in the MFA, Boston, acc. no. 11.7369 as well as there having been two sold at auction: Christies, NY 16/9/2003, lot 153 and Bonhams NY 18/3/2015, lot 3010. Some minor marks and creasing, but otherwise good condition. Signed Toba Hiromaru hitsu. Seal unread.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Toyohara CHIKANOBU (1838-1912)




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A triptych Ryogoku hanabi zu, “Fireworks at Ryogoku.” Chikanobu designed a number of triptychs on this subject and boating on the Sumida River, but this is the best and rarest. The government in 1733 had a display of fireworks over the bridge called the Ryogoku kawabiraki hanabi, “Ryogoku River-opening Fireworks” as part of a memorial service for the victims of starvation due to crop failures and an epidemic of cholera. This became an annual event.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Minor marks, otherwise very good condition. Signed Toyohara Chikanobu.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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An original fan painting, 6.5 x 17.5 in; 16.5 x 44.5 cms. Sumi and colour on treated paper. Shows a kappa appearing from the Sumidagawa and terrifying a man who runs for his life. Kappa were amphibious creatures found in rivers and ponds. Their bodies were covered with a horny carapace like a tortoise, with scaly legs and four frog-like webbed feet. They loved to wrestle and were known to attack humans – especially children, and horses. However, they could be tricked as they were very polite. If you bowed to a kappa he invariably bowed back, and as their source of power lay in a pool of water contained in a depression in the head, this would be spilt and they became immobilized. Laid around the edge onto Japanese board with the ribmarks evident as it has been dismounted from an ogi or folding fan. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga with hand-painted toshidama seal. Good condition.

 

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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An original fan painting mounted as a scroll. Shows a gorge with the fast flowing Nagatoro River in Musashi Province. (An area in western Saitama Prefecture northwest of Tokyo.) Sumi and light blue on paper, 7 x 20.5 in; 17.75 x 52 cms. Comes with a certificate from Aoki Shinzaburo (who had a large collection of Hiroshige drawings and paintings). In good condition. Signed Hiroshige with Ryusai seal.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1797-1861)




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A fine and interesting original painting, full colour on silk, 11.25 x 20.25 in; 28.5 x 51.5 cms. Shows a reclining beauty looking up at a cuckoo (hototogisu) flying in clouds. The cuckoo is the harbinger of the summer months. This painting, made c 1830, reflects Kunisada’s study, together with Ikkei, of the work of Hanabusa Itcho (1652-1724). Indeed, Ikkei gave Kunisada the name Hanabusa Ittai and this painting is signed Hanabusa Itcho Kunisada ga with seal Hanabusa Ittai Kunisada no in. To the bottom left is an inscription reading “A disciple of Utagawa Kunisada drawn on request [the cuckoo].” There is a small seal but it is undecipherable.

 

 

Minor marks but in generally very good condition. Touches of gold and the gofun on the face well retained. Newly mounted with new box.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 




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Hishikawa MOROSHIGE (Fl. 1684-1704)




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An original painting, sumi and full colour on paper, 24 x 12 in; 61 x 30.5 cms. Shows a beautiful youth (a wakashu) dressed as a girl with his attendant servant. These youths (identified as male by wearing a sword) were arbiters of trend-setting kimono design. They are sometimes referred to as the “third gender,” and were sexually ambiguous being objects of desire to both adult men and women. Moroshige was the senior pupil of Hishikawa Moronobu, and, it is said, was the father of Furuyama Moromasa. Some toning of paper and slight loss of pigment, but all commensurate with a painting of this age. Otherwise good condition. Painted around 1700.

 

 

Signed Hishikawa Moroshige zu with seal Moroshige. A fine and interesting painting.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Yamamoto Kansuke striding through the snow. “Boar” from a set Mitate junishi, “Selection for the Twelve Signs.” Published by Ibaya Kyubei, c 1845. (Kansuke was famous for killing a giant boar in the snow.) Robinson S38.12.

 

 

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

 

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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“Flood” from a series Seiu kandankei, “A Barometer of Emotions.” Shows Nakamura Shikan III as Abe Bungo no Kami riding his horse through waves. Published by Okura Magobei 1876-77 (this being 1876). A rare set with some striking designs comparing actors in theatrical roles with meteorological phenomena.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming, otherwise fine condition. Signed Oju Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The fifteen year old Otani Furuinosuke killing a giant boar with his bare hands. From a set Honcho Suikoden goyu happyakunin no hitori, “One of the Eight Hundred Heroes of the Water Margin of Japan.” Published by Kagaya Kichiemon c 1831. This is the first edition: It was republished by Ibaya Sensaburo in 1845. Robinson S4a.14.

 

 

Fine impression and colour. Slight trimming at left, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Travellers viewing Mount Asama. Usui-toge yori Asama o miru zu, “A View of Mount Asama from Usui Pass.” From Kuniyoshi’s best landscape set. Of the utmost rarity with most extant impressions differing. This and the impression in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, are similar, without the smoke coming from the cone of Asama (the most active volcano on Honshu). Other impressions are in: The British Museum, 1948, 0410, 0. 108, which has gradation up the left side of the mountain; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, JP 1424, which has gradation down from the summit; and Worcester Art Museum which is similar to the Mets, 1901. 692. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, c. 1836.

 

 

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

 

 

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Teisai HOKUBA (1771-1844)



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One of Hokusai’s best pupils. Known for his paintings of beauties but also designed some fine surimono. An original fan painting showing a reclining beauty. Sumi and light red on silvered paper, 7.25 x 17.75 in; 18.5 x 45.2 cms. Removed from a fan, so rib folds and other minor marks. Signed Hokuba ga.

 

 

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Utagawa HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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Oi, a suburb of present day Ena City, is in the southern foothills of the central mountain range now known as the Japan Alps. Shows a group of travellers heavily protected against the snow and cold. From Kisokaido rokujukyutsugi no uchi, “Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kisokaido.” The set of seventy prints was started by Eisen and published by Hoeido in 1835, but in 1837 Hiroshige took over and completed the series with the publisher Iseya Rihei (Kinjudo). One of Hiroshige’s most famous designs.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Imperceptible centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Hiroshige ga.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A view of pilgrims bathing in the Roben waterfall at the Afuri (Shinto) shrine, Oyama in Segami Province. Oyama sekison otaki no zu. This happened during the summer months and was considered a purification ritual. Oyama is a sacred mountain near the Izu peninsula and a short distance from Kamakura and Enoshima. Kuniyoshi designed another oban of this subject as well as two triptychs. Published by Wakasaya Yoichi, 1839-40. It has been suggested that the tattooed figure, on the left, holding a lantern with Kuniyoshi inscribed on it may be Kuniyoshi himself.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Slight centre fold and expertly repared wormage. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A triptych showing Shutendoji’s palace on Mount Oyeyama, Oyeyama fukujin shusei. Raiko (Minamoto no Yorimitsu) is charged by the Emperor Murakami with killing the evil Shutendoji who terrorizes the neighbourhood. He and his retainers infiltrate the castle and ply Shutendoji and his ogrish band with sake and dance for them. Eventually Shutendoji is so intoxicated he has to be carried to bed, whereupon Raiko and his followers attack and decapitate him. This is the episode most often depicted with the head flying through the air. Published by Kiya Sojiro, 1853.

 

 

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

 

 

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Utagawa YOSHITORA (Active c 1850-1880)



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A triptych showing Sato Masakiyo, having invaded Shikoku and overthrowing the castle of Shosokabe Motochika, entering deep into the mountains where he battles an army of huge toads, lizards, bats, spiders, cats and dogs. Sato Masakiyo Shikoku seibatsu no toki Shosokabe Motochika no honjo o semeotosu ori kara hakarazu shinzan ni tachiiri kebutsu taiji no zu. Published by Kinseido (Sanoya Tomigoro), 1862.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Album backing, otherwise good condition. Signed Yoshitora ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Kawanabe KYOSAI (1831-1889)




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An important collection of original drawings by Kyosai laid into two accordion albums, opening horizontally, 13.5 x 10 inches. Approx 157 drawings ( one signed and sealed; one signed and dated [ 6th October Meiji 3,1870 ]; and one signed ). After the date is the place: Shinobazu keidai Mikawatei, the garden of a temple ( Bentendo Hall ( ?) at Shinobazu pond, Ueno Park; Mikawatei being a restaurant. And the signature: Seisei Kyosai sui butsu rei hitsu, the drawing of Amida painted when drunk. Some drawings are from life, others seem to be memory drawings of his work, but most are preliminary ideas for books, prints or paintings. Many of Kyosai’s favourite subjects are represented including: skeletons, onis and cats. Drawings on this scale, spontaneous and with no need to impress, give a better insight into the mind of an artist, and on almost every page Kyosai’s humour shines through. Of particular delight are a group of drawings showing men on horseback playing some Japanese variation of polo, and a sheet recording new-born, still blind rats.

Status: Available




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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Jigoku Dayu, the “Hell Courtesan” from the set Chuko meiyo kijin den, “Stories of Remarkable Persons of Loyalty and High Reputation.” Published by Iseya Ichiemon or Enshuya Matabei (this design) 1845. Robinson S35.3. She was a courtesan who found enlightenment through the Buddhist monk Ikkyu. (The fly-whisk she holds denotes her enlightenment.) Sold to a brothel, she believed her misfortune was due to karma and is always depicted with robes depicting images of hell.

 

 

Very fine impression and colour. Very slight crinkling and trimmed close, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Utagawa YOSHIKAZU (Active c 1849-1867)




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Kato Kiyomasa (aka Masakiyo, 1562-1611) hunting man-eating tigers with his cohorts in Korea. Masakiyo ko toragari no zu. Kiyomasa had two expeditions to Korea in 1592 and 1597. Published by Hiranoya Shinzo, 1861.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichikawa Yoshikazu ga.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)



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A dai-oban print showing the actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Minister Kibi in the play Kibi Daijin Shina monogatari, “Minister Kibi, Tale of China.” The play centres on the historical minister Kibi no Makibi who joined a mission to the Tang Court in China in 716. He is supposed to have brought back to Japan the game of go, embroidery, and the secrets of the Chinese almanac. Published by Gusokuya Kahai, 1875.

 

 

Fine impression with gauffrage and extensive burnishing to Kibi’s black garment. Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition, untrimmed. Signed Oju Toyohara Kunichika hitsu.

 

 

Status: Available

 

 

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