Yushido SHUNCHO (Fl. c. 1780-1795)




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A chuban print showing beauties sight-seeing on the Sumida River. From a set of ten prints of views of Koto (an area of Edo bounded by the Sumidagawa to the west and Arakawa River to the east with many canals). Published by Enomoto, c. 1790.
Very good impression. Exceptionally well preserved colour: the fugitive pigments intact. Very slight soil, otherwise very good condition. Full size.

 

 

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Katsukawa SHUNSHO (1726-1792)




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A chuban print from a set of three: Sanseki waka, “Three Evening Poems.” In this case interpreting a poem by Jakuren hoshi (1139-1202). The poem reads: Sabishisa wa / sono iro to shimo / nakarikeri / makitatsu yama no / aki no yugare, Loneliness / is not / any particular colour – / a mountain of black pines / on an autumn evening. The other two prints probably have poems by Teika and Saigyo. Shows beauties on a balcony admiring the pines in the distance. Published c. early 1770s. Ex collection Erik Holmberg. Rare.

 

 

Very good impression. Particularly good colour with pigments that have usually turned. Very good condition. Signed Shunsho ga.

 

 

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Katsukawa SHUNCHO (Active 1780-1795)



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A chuban print from a set of five designs: Imoseyama gomai tsuzuki, “Imoseyama, a Set of Five Prints.” Shows two court beauties and an attendant. Based on the Bunraku play Imoseyama onna teikin, “Husband and Wife Mountain: An Exemplary Tale of Womanly Virtue” which was performed for the first time in 1771. It was then adapted for the Kabuki theatre. The play is in five acts.

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa SADAHIDE (1807-1873)




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A triptych, Shin Yoshiwara karitaku no zu, “Temporary Lodgings of the New Yoshiwara.” Shows the courtesans Shiratama, Masanagi, and Tamakazura of the Tamaya House before a latticed window overlooking the Ryogoku River. The Tamaya was one of the best known brothels. Their kamuro are listed beside their names. Published c. 1843-7 by Yamaguchiya Tobei. Rare: I cannot locate another impression.

 

 

Very fine impression, colour and condition.Signed Gountei Sadahide ga.

 

 

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)



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The courtesan Biso of the Ogi House holding a brush up to a snow sculpture of Daruma. Snow from a Snow, Moon, Flowers set: Seiro bijin setsugekka. Published by Kawaguchiya Uhei, c late 1810s.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Fine condition: Full size with extra paper. Signed Eizan hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)



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Winter from a set Furyu bijin kodakara awase, “Elegant Beauties and Precious Children.” Shows a beauty carrying one child and looking down at another with a large snowball. Published by Matsumura Yahei, c late 1810s.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour. Fine condition: Full size with extra paper. Signed Eizan hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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Kemu-so: Kyowa nenkan naishitsu no fuzoku, “Looking Smoky:The Appearance of a Housewife of the Kyowa Era.” From the set: Thirty-Two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. Shows a housewife fanning a smoldering fire probably intended to repel summer insects. The best design from the set.

 

 

Very fine impression, colour and condition of the first edition. The gradation and printing of the smoke is particularly accomplished. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Kitao MASANOBU (Santo KYODEN) (1761-1816)



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One double-oban design from the most sumptuous album ever produced: Yoshiwara keisei: Shin bijin awase jihitsu kagami, “A Mirror of New Yoshiwara Courtesans with Samples of Their Calligraphy.” Published by Tsutaya Juzaburo, 1784. Shows courtesans viewing calligraphic scrolls. Seven double-oban designs were published in album form, although the original intention was for a larger set. Signed on two sheets Kitao sensai Masanobu.

 

 

Fine impression. Extremely good colour. Centre fold (as always), several very small wormholes and minor marks, but otherwise in very good condition.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)



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The courtesan Shizuka of the Shizutama-ya from the set of six prints Seiro bijin rokkasen, “Six Poems on Yoshiwara Beauties as Flowers.” One of the most beautiful sets of this period. Published 1794 by Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudo). The centre cartouche has a seasonal bloom, in this case the pink which was the emblem of Shizuka. See Klaus Brandt, Hosoda Eishi, 1977, 51, no. 172. Another impression was in the Popper sale catalogue, no. 138 and the impression from the Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst, Berlin, is illustrated in the 1974 Tokyo Exhibition catalogue, no. 146.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Yellow ground and mica on collar. Signed Eishi zu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)



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The parading courtesan Yosooi of Matsubaya with her kamuro Tomeki and Nioi. Not listed in Brandt. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudo) c 1800. She must have been a popular courtesan as she is depicted on many prints by various artists around this date.

 

Fine impression. Very good colour: Pale yellow ground. Very slight centre fold, otherwise very good condition. Signed Eishi zu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)




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A triptych showing the interior of a mansion. In the centre the head of the household, a young male, surrounded by his female attendants. This most likely shows the Setsubun – a ritual of bean-throwing to clear out the evil from a house on the day before the beginning of spring which was considered New Year’s eve. There are impressions in the MFA Boston (11.13833-5, 21.7798-800) and MET (JP201). Published by Iwatoya Kisaburo. The MET and MFA give a date as c 1791-4 but the signature better fits a date of c 1800.

 

 

Very good impression. Exceptional colour – better even than the other illustrated examples. Small restoration on last sheet, otherwise very good condition with extra paper around. Signed Toyokuni ga. Rare.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1865)



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Fuji kaeri no yudachi, “Sudden Shower on the Way Home.” Shows a beauty hunched under an umbrella against the rain. From a set of ten prints Tosei bijin awase, “Contest of Present-day Beauties.” She is returning from the Fuji festival celebrating the annual opening of Mount Fuji to pilgrims on the first day of the sixth month. (The straw snake in the cartouche, top right, is a souvenir from the festival.) Miniature mounds representing Fuji were made in locations such as Asakusa and Komagome and could reach 39 ft. high. Published by Moritaya Hanzo, 1827. A fine design.

 

Fine impression. Very slight “turning” of the fujitive blue on the umbrella, otherwise fine colour. A later edition was published replacing the beautiful pigment on the umbrella with a coarse dark blue pigment. Fine condition. Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Kitagawa SHIKIMARO (Fl. c 1810)



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The courtesan Oi of the Ebiya smoking a pipe and admiring her reflection in a mirror. From a set Imayo onna kasen, sanjurokuban tsuzuki, “Thirty-six Modern Female Poets.” In the panel to the left is an example of her calligraphy with the names of her kamuro: Miyako and Sakuro. Her sumptuous kimono is decorated with fans – the emblem of the house of Ebiya. Probably a pupil of Tsukimaro carrying on the tradition of Utamaro. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudo), 1813.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa TOYOHIRO (1773-1828)




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An oban print with title: Ryukyujin no zu, “Pictures of People from Ryukyu.” (A chain of Japanese islands stretching southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan.) The Ryukyuans had a specific culture, one element of which was to select young boys (gakudoji) from the upper classes of the capital to be apprenticed to perform as women in dances during the processionals to Edo. These processions of feudal lords, often with elaborate retinues, were required by the Shogun and were a way of keeping the lords submissive and cash-strapped as the journeys were extremely expensive. The gakudoji are usually shown riding a white horse with an attendant holding a large umbrella (a colourful parasol in this case). Another (heavily trimmed) design from this set is in the Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. Toyohiro seems to have had a particular interest in these boys as he designed a number of other prints on this subject. Of the utmost rarity: I have not seen another print from this set in 50 years of dealing. Published by Shimizu, c. 1804.

 

 

Fine impression and colour with strong yellow ground. Possibly slightly trimmed (?), otherwise very good condition. Signed Toyohiro ga.

 

 

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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The first sheet from one of Eizan’s most famous triptychs: Furyu yusuzumi san bijin, “Three Fashionable Beauties Cooling Off in the Evening.” Shows a teahouse waitress seated outside her establishment with silhouettes of customers showing on the shoji screen. Published by Yamadaya Shobei, c. 1814-17.

 

 

Fine impression, colour and condition. Signed Kikugawa Eizan hitsu.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing three women washing clothes in a stream from a set Six Tama [Jewel or Crystal] Rivers, this being the Chofu Crystal River (in fact the Tamagawa that flowed into Edo Bay). Musashi no kuni Chofu no Tamagawa. The set published by Sanoya Kihei, c 1847. The complete set is illustrated in The Baur Collection, Matthi Forrer, vol. II, 1994, nos G396-G401 (this being G397).

 

 

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

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)




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Furyu rokkasen, “Fashionable Six Poets.” One sheet from a set of three that can be viewed separately or as a triptych. Shows the famous Heian period waka poets Ono no Komachi and Ariwara no Narihira together with an attendant. Two famous poems by them above in gold clouds, hinting at the archaising motif. Published by Nishimuraya Yohachi , c 1802. Originally purchased from me in 1976.

 

Fine impression and colour. Very good condition with yellow ground and gold printed at the top. Signed Toyokuni ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)




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A parading courtesan, Senzan of the Choji-ya house, with her two kamuro, Isieji and Hanaji. From a set of seven prints Seiro moyo awase, “A Comparison of Patterns of the Green houses.” Published by Eijudo, 1796-7. The title on a teacup. A luxurious yellow ground. See Klaus J. Brandt, 1977, no. 263, p. 146. A fine set. Rare.

 

Fine impression. Extremely fine, unfaded colour. Fine condition: Untrimmed with extra paper at left. A benchmark example for prints of this period. Signed Eishi zu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Omoshiro-so: Bunsei nenkan okujochu no fuzoku, “Looking Amused: The Appearance of a High-ranking Maid in the Bunsei Era” ( 1818 – 1830 ). From the set: Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. Shows a maid to the concubine of a daimyo looking over a balcony.

 

Superb impression of the first edition. Very fine colour and condition with the extra paper at left edge and the full handling area showing bottom right. Beautiful blind-printing. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




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A triptych showing a bride changing into her going-away dress, Konrei iro-naoshi no zu. There is another triptych of the actual wedding ceremony which can be viewed with this to form a hexaptych design, Sanmai-tsuzuki. Published by Maruya Bunemon, 1804. Other impressions in Shibui, Ukiyo-e zuten, Utamaro, 1964, p. 38/9; Ukiyo-e Taisei 7, 1931, no. 346; Ukiyo-e shuka 3, 1978, no. 356. Rare.

 

Fine impression. Very good, well retained colour. Large margins on last two sheets, first sheet very slightly trimmed, otherwise very good condition. Signed Utamaro hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI II (1777-1835)




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A beauty standing beside a circular window with wisteria and a swallow, both symbols of spring. From an aizuri-e set Tosei gonin bijo, “Fine Modern Beauties.” Published by Maruya Seijiro, c 1830-5.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNISADA (1786-1864)




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An aizuri-e (blue print) showing the courtesan Hanaogi of the Ogi-ya House parading with her two kamuro. Published c 1840 by Enomotoya Kichibei. See my blog.


Very good impression, colour and condition. (With only the hint of red on the lips.) Signed Gototei Kunisada ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A complete triptych showing beauties in boats on the Sumida River. Shubi no matsu, “Successful-deal Pine Tree” from a set Edo meisho somoku-zukushi, “Notable Sights Famous for Grass and Trees in Edo.” This famous pine was blown down during the An’ei era (1772-1780); its successor died during the Ansei era (1854-1859); the third died at the end of the Meiji era (c 1910). There is also the Hiroshige view of this subject from the 100 Views of Edo. Published by Ebiya Rinnosuke (Kaijudo), 1845.

 

Very good impression. Fine colour and condition. Full size. Another state has darker water and variegated cartouche. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)




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One of Hiroshige’s most beautiful triptychs: Sumidagawa setchu no zu,“The Sumida River in Snow” from a series Edo meisho shiki no nagame, “Views of the Famous Places of Edo in the Four Seasons.” Shows a ferry landing on the Sumida with a beauty disembarking from a boat and another pair ready to board. Published by Maruya Jinpachi, c 1847-8. Rare.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty in sumptuous clothing from a fine set of seventy numbered prints with title: Sankai medetai zu, “Excellences of Mountain and Sea.” The set compares busts of beautiful women with various products and occupations from the provinces of Japan. The inset view here shows dyer beetles being collected in Yamashiro Province. Yamashiro ebizuru mushi. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

Superb impression, very fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty in sumptuous clothing from a fine set of seventy numbered prints with title: Sankai medetai zu, “Excellences of Mountain and Sea.” The set compares busts of beautiful women with various products and occupations from the provinces of Japan. The inset view here shows the making of tie-dyed cloth in Bungo Province. Bungo shiborizome. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

Superb impression, very fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty in sumptuous clothing from a fine set of seventy numbered prints with title: Sankai medetai zu, “Excellences of Mountain and Sea.” The set compares busts of beautiful women with various products and occupations from the provinces of Japan. The inset view here shows crabs being caught in Nagato Province. Nagato kani. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

Superb impression, very fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Hosoda EISHI (1756-1829)




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The courtesan Shizuka of the Shizutama-ya from the set of six prints: Seiro bijin rokkasen, “Six Poems on Yoshiwara Beauties as Flowers.” One of the most beautiful sets of this period published 1794 by Eijudo. The centre cartouche has a seasonal bloom, in this case the pink which was the emblem of Shizuka. See Klaus Brandt, Hosoda Eishi, 1977, 51, no 172. Another impression was in the Popper sale cat. no 138 and the impression from the Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst, Berlin, is illustrated in the 1974 Tokyo Exhibition catalogue, no 146.

Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. Yellow ground and mica on collar. Signed Eishi zu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty leaning on a cloth from a fine set of seventy numbered prints with title: Sankai medetai zu, “Excellences of Mountain and Sea.” The set compares busts of beautiful women with various products and occupations from the provinces of Japan. The inset view here shows mackerel being caught in Noto Province. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

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

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty in sumptuous clothing from a fine set of seventy numbered prints with title: Sankai medetai zu, “Excellences of Mountain and Sea.” The set compares busts of beautiful women with various products and occupations from the provinces of Japan. The inset view here shows oyster collecting in Aki Province. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

Superb impression, very fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A beauty in sumptuous clothing from a fine set of seventy numbered prints with title: Sankai medetai zu, “Excellences of Mountain and Sea.” The set compares busts of beautiful women with various products and occupations from the provinces of Japan. The inset view here shows sap collecting for making lacquer in Koshu Province. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

Superb impression, very fine colour and condition with strong burnishing on collar. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa TOYOKUNI I ( 1769-1825 )




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An elegant triptych showing tofu being prepared and other ladies on an engawa with various fish dishes. The restaurant or inn is beside a stream which is heavily planted with flowers. Published c 1809 by Tsuruya Kinsuke.


Very good impression. Perfectly retained colour. Full size. Perfect condition. Signed Toyokuni ga.


Status: Sold

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1752-1806)




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A beauty reading while having her hair combed from a series of Nana Komachi. The set based on the seven famous episodes in the life of the famous Heian beauty and poetess Ono no Komachi (c 825-c 900). A young woman in a loose yukata is reading a letter that is torn in two while a girl combs her hair. Published c 1805 by Ise-ya Soemon. The Ono no Komachi waka poem reads:


In this world,


Where those who live, die


And those who have died, multiply


How much longer will I,


Be around to mourn?


Fine impression. Exceptionally well preserved colour. Very good condition. On thick, deluxe hosho. Signed Utamaro hitsu.


Status: Sold

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Kitagawa UTAMARO ( 1753-1806 )




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An extremely rare naga-oban showing the lovers Umegawa and Chubei. The courtesan Umegawa, while tying her obi, teases Kameya Chubei with the end. He reclines beneath her looking up with admiration. The couple eloped to his native village of Ninokuchi in Yamato Province. From a set of famous lovers from Joruri plays. Published by Maruya Jimpachi, c 1800. Another ( faded ) impression from the Fitzwilliam Museum is illustrated in The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro. Asano and Clark, BM, 1995, no. 335.


Fine impression. Very good colour and condition. A beautiful print. Signed Utamaro hitsu.


Status: Sold

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




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Mishima, Province of Settsu ( or Toi ) from a set of Six Crystal ( Tama ) Rivers, Furyu mu tamagawa. The streams were noted for the purity of their water and the three girls are shown fulling cloth ( hence Toi which is the alternative name of the river and the word for beating cloth ). Published by Izumiya Ichibei, c.1803-4. This appears to be from a set – like others of Utamaro’s – that could be viewed separately or as a continuous composition. See Yoshida, Utamaro zenshu, p. 173 for another design from the set. Rare.


Fine impression and colour. Full size. One minor mark, otherwise very good condition. Signed Utamaro fude.


Status: Sold

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Kikugawa EIZAN (1787-1867)




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An early Eizan published c. 1810s by Shimizu. Seiro Niwaka zensei ki, “Popular Entertainment at the Niwaka Festival.” Aizuga yanagi koshizuki, with a list of entertainers. This event during the 8th month of every year in the Edo Yoshiwara involved dancing and music and girls dressed – as here, lower right figure – as men.


Superb impression and colour’ Slight browning of the thick hosho and small nick out of top left edge, otherwise very good condition. Full size. Signed Eizan hitsu.


Status: Sold

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Keisai EISEN (1790-1848)




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An amorous couple prior to coitus. One of the three best designs from a set of twelve prints: Keisei higo, “Secret Words of a Courtesan” published c 1822-25. Although the set comes under the shunga heading, each print is an abuna-e design, without any graphic detail. Fine composition.

Fine impression and colour. Laid onto board from the original album. Small wormage and slight centre fold ( as usual ), otherwise good condition.


Status: Sold

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Looking Itchy: The Appearance of a Kept Woman of the Kaei Era ( 1848 – 1854 ). From the set: Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. Shows a dishabille beauty emerging from a mosquito net. One of the two or three best designs from the set.


Fine impression of the first edition. Fine colour and condition with the extra paper at left edge and the full handling area showing bottom right. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.


Status: Sold

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Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)




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Looking Itchy: The Appearance of a Kept Woman of the Kaei Era ( 1848-1854 ). From the set Thirty-two Aspects of Women published by Tsunashima Kamekichi, 1888. Shows a dishabille beauty emerging from a mosquito net. One of the two or three best designs from the set.


Very fine impression, colour and condition. Pristine. The first edition. Signed Yoshitoshi ga.


Status: Sold

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Kitagawa UTAMARO (1753-1806)




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An aiban print: Junidan hana no nishiki, “Twelve Chapters of Floral Brocades” from Seiro Niwaka zensei asobi, “Most Splendid Entertainment of the Niwaka Festival in the Licensed Quarters.” The Festival was held in September in the Edo Yoshiwara district. Shows Minamoto no Yoshitsune visiting Princess Joruri. Not listed in Yoshida or Shibui, Ukiyoe zuten, although another version is in Yoshida, Utamaro zenshu on page 162. Published c 1802 by Yamashiroya Toemon.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Perfect colour. Signed Utamaro hitsu.


Status: Sold

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