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.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1798-1861)




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Ogata Shuma Hiroyuki ( later Jiraiya ) from Honcho Suikoden goyu happyaku-nin no hitori, “Eight Hundred Heroes of our Country’s Suikoden, One by One.” Shows the brigand with a heavy o-zutsu, hand cannon, bearing down on an enormous snake which had been preying on his friends the toads. Published c 1830 by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon. Robinson S4.12. Fine design.


Very good impression and colour. Slightly trimmed right and bottom, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Three New Year drummers; two with lion (shishi) masks. Sumi and colour on paper, lightly laid onto card. 24.2 x 36.2 cms; 9.5 x 14.25 inches.


In good condition. Unsigned but from a group, one of which bore full signature.



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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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An original sumi drawing showing the two gods of good luck, Ebisu and Daikoku, fishing from a boat. A variety of sea creatures can be seen in the water. Ebisu’s fishing line has caught an octopus which has landed on Daikoku’s head. 12 x 9.25 in; 30.5 x 23.5 cms. Laid onto Japanese paper. Sold “as is” with imperfections.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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An original drawing in sumi with light red under-drawing, 9.75 x 6.75 in; 24.7 x 17.2 cms, on thin paper laid onto card. Shows a general looking down on a castle. Slight foxing. Sold “as is.” Ex Tikotin collection, seal bottom right.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A fine original sumi drawing (hanshita-e) of oban size for an unpublished set: Eiyu kumiuchi zu, “Collection of Heroes in Combat.” Has a date seal for 1856. Sumi and light colour with pentimenti on thin paper. Shows the protagonists Satsuma no Kami Tadanori, a famous general of the Taira Clan, in combat with Okabe Rokuyata Tadasumi of the Minamoto Clan during the Genpei wars of 1180-1185.

 

 

In extremely good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga. Rare.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A fine original sumi drawing (hanshita-e) of oban size for an unpublished set, c. 1856. Sumi and light colour with extensive pentimenti on thin paper. Shows two samurai in combat. In extremely good condition.

 

 

Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga. Rare.

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1798-1861)




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The ronin Yada Gorosaemon Suketake. A snow scene showing him facing an adversary with sword raised. From a fine set of twelve half length portraits of the forty-seven ronin: Seicho gishi shozo, “Portraits of Faithful Samurai of True Loyalty.” The depictions borrow strongly from western portraiture including imitation western script in the green border of the title cartouche. It is not necessary to repeat the story here as it is the best known Japanese tale. Published by Sumiyoshiya Masagoro, 12/1852.


Fine impression. Fine colour. Full size with extra paper left and top. Slight soil left margin, otherwise fine condition. Extensive splashed gofun to imitate snow. The printing on this set is exceptional with details such as the sword blades and title cartouches burnished. Signed Kuniyoshi ga.


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1798-1861)




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A Chinese brigand ( Shinwa-Yi ? ) hanging onto a rock in a fast-flowing river. Above and below him other submerged protagonists. From an early set: Tsuzoku sangokushi yeiyu no ichi-ni, “Popular Heroes of the History of the Three Kingdoms.” Published c. 1837 by Joshuya Kinzo. Extremely rare: Not known to Robinson ( S.10 ) who only lists 8 prints ( including a key-block proof ) from this set. Possibly unrecorded.


Very fine impression, colour and condition ( proof state ). Full size with extra paper all round. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1798-1861)




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Morozumi Masakiyo, Lord of Bungo, and retainer of the Takeda being blown up by a cannonball or landmine whilst committing suicide with his sword. The best design from a set Koetsu yusho den, “Biographies of Brave Generals from the Provinces of Kai and Echigo.” The series shows heroic acts during battles that took place between the troops of Takeda Shungen of Kai Province and Kenshin Tora of Echigo Province during 1553-1564 at Kawanakajima. Published by Sumiyoshiya Masagoro, c 1849. Illustrated in colour, Robinson, Kuniyoshi The Warrior-Prints, Phaidon, 1982, pl. 20, S63.9 and elsewhere. One of Kuniyoshi’s finest oban designs.


Very good impression. Some oxidation, otherwise very good colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The ronin Nakamura Kansuke Masatatsu dodging a brazier of hot ash. The best design from a fine set of twelve half length portraits of the forty-seven ronin: Seicho gishi shozo, “Portraits of Faithful Samurai of True Loyalty.” The depictions borrow strongly from western portraiture including imitation western script in the green border of the title cartouche. It is not necessary to repeat the story here as it is the best known Japanese tale. Published by Sumiyoshiya Masagoro, 12/1852.


Fine impression, colour and condition. Full size and the falling ash from the brazier represented by sprayed gofun ( slight loss ). The printing on this set is exceptional with details such as the sword blades and title cartouches burnished. Signed Kuniyoshi ga.


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing Koman, the widowed daughter of a Lake Biwa farmer, swimming with the white banner of the Genji in her teeth towards the Taira barge of Munemori. On being picked up and finding where she was she jumped overboard but not before Sanemori cut her arm off with the banner wrapped round it. For the full story see Pointers And Clues To The Subjects Of Chinese And Japanese Art, Sampson Low Marstone & Co. Ltd., Will Edmunds, 1934, p. 451. Published By Iseya Ichibei, 1846.


Very fine impression, colour and condition. Full size. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych showing Raiko attacking the Shuten-doji. A well know myth covered by numerous artists of all periods. Shuten-doji, “Great Drunken Boy” had great strength and atrocious habits, plundering the countryside around his stronghold on Oyeyama, “Devil’s Mountain.” The Emperor Murakami, losing patience, ordered Raiko to put an end to his exploits with the aid of a magic cap and poisoned sake. Raiko and his main retainers: Sakata no Kintoki, Usui no Sadamitsu, Watanabe no Tsuna, and Urabe no Suyetake stupefied the enormous hulk that was Shuten-doji and decapitated him. Depictions of this scene usually show the head flying through the air and it often has a more gruesome appearance with fangs and horns. Raiko returned in triumph with the head to Kyoto. One of Kuniyoshi’s best designs. Published c 1851-2 by Amatsu. Robinson T261. Rare.


Fine impression and colour. Some oxidation as usual. Slight trimmimg, otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The ronin Mase Magokuro Masatoki swimming to the surface surrounded by two rays and an octopus. His sword is loosely strapped around his waist. From a set Seichu gishin meimei kagami, “Mirror of the True Loyalty of the faithful Retainers, Individually.” Published by Iseya Isaburo, 1857. Robinson S90.41. A fine design.


Fine impression and colour. Extensive sprayed gofun ( oxidised ). Light discolouration top right, but otherwise good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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An unfinished otanzaku set Buyu nazorae Genji, “Selected Warriors for the Chapters of Genji.” This design illustrating Chapter 38 ( Suzumushi ) of the Genji monogatari ( the Genji crest in the middle upper right cartouche ). Shows Satsuma Taira Tadanori in court dress with open fan at the door of the house of Kiku-no-mae of the Miyabara family. Published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c 1846. Robinson S28.38.


Fine impression, colour and condition. A slightly later and trimmed copy illustrated in Heroes & Ghosts, 1998, no. 44, p. 70. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A fine hanshita-e triptych drawing by Kuniyoshi showing the actors Arashi Kichisaburo, Ichikawa Kuzo and Ogami Eisaburo, probably in the play Hiragawa seisuiki. Sumi and light colour, 14.5 x 30 in, 37 x 76.5 cma. Each sheet fully signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga with hand-stamped red Kiri seal. Some pentimenti. Laid down onto a larger sheet of paper. Light staining, otherwise good condition.


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A fine hanshita-e triptych drawing by Kuniyoshi showing the strong woman Kaneko Kugutsune ( also called O Kane or Omi no O Kane ). She is normally depicted – as here – holding down the sacred white temple horse with her geta. These appear to be lifelike dolls: There seems to have been a craze for such figures in the 1850s. Other materials used to make such figures and animals were shells, cane and flowers. Sumi and light colour, 14.5 x 30 in, 37 x 76.5 cms. Each sheet fully signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga. Unidentified publisher’s seal, c 1855. Some pentimenti. Laid down onto a larger sheet of paper. Light staining, otherwise good condition. Kuniyoshi appears to have liked this subject and designed a number of prints including a famous horizontal landscape in western style.


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A fine hanshita-e triptych drawing by Kuniyoshi showing a general ( possibly Kato Kiyomasa ) on a horse far left and surrounded by his soldiers. He is viewing flotillas of boats laden with more troops. Sumi and light touches of red, 14.5 x 30 in, 37 x 76.5 cms. Each sheet fully signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga with censor seal pasted on for 9/1860. The publisher’s seal Yamamotoya Heikichi and hand-stamped red Kiri seal on each sheet. Extensive pentimenti. Laid down onto a larger sheet of paper. Light staining, otherwise good condition.


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A triptych with title Furyu ningyo zu, “Pictures of Dolls in Contemporary Fashion.” There was a craze for these lifelike dolls in the 1850s ( this triptych being dated 2/1856 ). In fact Kuniyoshi designed another print in the same year of the centre subject Tammeijiro Genshogo being captured. This impression appears to be the only known copy: Not listed anywhere. Unidentified publisher. An original hanshita-e for the first sheet exists in the Victoria & Albert Museum, illustrated in Japanese Colour Prints, Edward F. Strange, 1913, pl. XLII.


Very fine impression and colour. Possibly very slightly trimmed round. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The best design from Kenjo reppuden, “Stories of Wise and Virtuous Women.” Shows Hatsuhana doing penance under the Tonozawa waterfall fulfilling a vow made on behalf of her sick husband, Katsugoro. She dies from the experience but Katsugoro is cured and kills his brother’s murderer near the waterfall observed by Hatsuhana’s ghost. Published c 1842 by Ibaya Sensaburo.


Very good impression, colour and condition. Completely untrimmed with extra paper showing all round. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The priest Nichiren calming a storm at Kakuda on his way to Sado Island by invoking the name of the Lotus Sutra ( namu myoho rengekyo ) which is shown written on the waves. From Koso goichidai ryakuzu, “Illustrated Abridged Biography of the Founder. “ Nichiren was the founder of the Buddhist Nichiren sect ( Nichiren shu – Kuniyoshi being a follower ) and indeed the set of ten prints may have been commissioned to mark the 550th anniversary of his death. Published c. 1831 by Iseya Rihei. This is the first edition with black spots printed in the sky; splashed gofun; gradation on the distant sea; blue gradation at top, and grey mountain. One of the three best designs from the set. ( See this website for the snow scene and Nichiren praying for rain. )


Fine impression and colour. Minor soil and slight centre fold. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Nichiren struggling up a snow-covered mountain near Tsukahara on the Island of Sado. The best design from Koso goichidai ryakuza, the “Illustrated Abridged Biography of the Founder.” Nichiren being the founder of the Buddhist Nichiren sect ( Nichiren shu – Kuniyoshi being a follower ) and indeed the set of ten prints may have been commissioned to mark the 550th anniversary of his death. Published by Iseya Rihei, c 1831. Like many great landscapes, there exist different states which causes confusion over which is the earliest. The basic difference is that the design is known with and without a horizon line and that there is at least one impression where the uninked, blind-printed line can be seen in a raked light. It has been asserted that those impressions without are the earliest; however, it seems from this that the sumi block was probably cut initially with the line but the publishers thought that it looked aesthetically better without printing it, and it was subsequently removed. In any case, this is an extremely rare print and most surviving examples appear to be similar in impression. There is a break in the border to the left of the bottom of Kuniyoshi’s signature which could give a guide to the earliest states, but as this is often painted in, it is not reliable. The print offered here has the horizon line and the gradation at the base of the mountain upwards. Left border line is unbroken. The composition is based on a design in the illustrated book Bumpo sansui gafu by Kawamura Bumpo, published posthumously in 1824. Although not from a landscape set, this is considered one of the great 19th century landscapes. Provenance: Ex collection Hans Crzellitzer, seal top right corner.


Very good impression. Some fading and light soil. Slight centre fold. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi hitsu.


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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Shin Yoshiwara from the set of ten prints: Toto meisho, “Famous Views of the Eastern Capital.” Shows night revellers beneath a moon with an enormous halo. A much admired print with a westernised chiaroscuro effect. Excessively rare. Published by Kagaya Kichibei, c 1834.


Fine impression. Extremely well retained colour. Restored top edge running from the centre towards right corner and top left corner. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.



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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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A tiger and dragon from a rare series Kinju zue, “Drawings of Birds and Beasts.” The set of at least five prints published by Joshuya Kinzo, 1837. Although rare, there are different states of the prints from this set, some having yellow cartouches, others red and uncoloured ( as here ). This design is also known with other colour variations.


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



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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797–1861)




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One volume complete Ichiyu gafu, “Drawings by Ichiyu [Kuniyoshi ].” Sumi and light colour. Some fine designs showing heroes and legends. This is the first edition, dated Bunsei 13 ( 1830 ). It was reissued in 1846.


Original covers and title slip. Minor wormage, otherwise fine condition.



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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Oishi from a set Kenyu fujo kagami, “A Mirror of Wise and Courageous Women.” She evidently was famous for having used her strength to deliver irrigation water into her own fields. Published c 1843-45 by Takahashiya.


Very fine impression. Fine colour. Light album backing, otherwise fine condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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An aizuri-e print showing the courtesan Nanahito of the Sugata-ebi house, 1 chome, Kyomachi, parading in front of rooftops. Published by Yamaguchiya Tobei, c. 1835-40. In fact, the left sheet of a triptych. Apparently, no known copy of the complete triptych is known, only this design and the first sheet. Nanahito was a popular courtesan also appearing on prints by Kunisada and Eisen.

 

 

Very fine impression, colour and condition. Signed “Restraining tears”, Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

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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 dried bonito from Tosa Province, Tosa katsuobushi. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

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

 

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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 sea cucumber being collected in Mikawa Province, Mikawa-namako. 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 woven silk from Bungo Province, Bungo shiborizone. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

Superb impression, very fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyosh

 

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 octopus from Iyo Province, Iyo nagahama no tako. The set published 1852 by Sano-ya Kihei.

 

Superb impression, very fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyosh

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Women washing cloth in the Chofu River from a set of six triptychs of the Six Tama (or Jewel, or Crystal) Rivers. Musashi no kuni Chofu Tamagawa, “Chofu Crystal River in Musashi Province.” Published by Sanoya Kihei, 1847-8.

 

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

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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Etchu Namerikawa otako, “Giant Octopuses in Namerikawa in Etchu” and sub-title Oo itai, “Ouch.” Obviously the cat’s claw being compared to the menacing tentacles of the octopus. A series of seventy prints Sankai medetai zue, “Affectionate Feelings for Mountains and Seas.” The set compares half-length beauties with famous products of the locality. Published by Tsurakichi, 1852. Kuniyoshi was particularly fond of cats and his studio was known to be home to a number of them. This may be his best evocation of a cat.

 

Superb impression with the cat’s coat blind-printed. Very fine colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A triptych: Mitate gogyo: Mizu, Ukifune, “Comparisons of the Five Elements: Water,” Ukifune. Shows Prince Genji in a boat with his attendants feeding ducks during the winter. Ukifune was the nickname of a princess in The Tale of Genji. An unrecognised daughter of the Eighth Prince in the 51st Chapter of the story. Ukifune also means: “A boat set adrift.” Published by Sanoki (Sanoya Kihei), 1851-52.

 

 

Superb impression, colour and condition. Signed Ichiyusai

 

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The poetess Ome Shushiki (1668-1725) looking at a poem attached to a tree at Ueno. A chu-tanzaku set of eight prints: Kenjo hakkei, “Eight Views of Accomplished Women.” The set published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c 1843-5. Based on the famous Chinese Eight Views, Japanese artists designed many sets using the Eight Views of Omi as their starting point. Here, Vesper Bell at Ueno [Miidera].

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor trimming (usual, as they were printed two-to-a-sheet), otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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Kogo no Tsubone (1157 – ?) on a balcony after being banished from court. A chu-tanzaku set of eight prints: Kenjo hakkei, “Eight Views of Accomplished Women.” The set published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c 1843-5. Based on the famous Chinese Eight Views, Japanese artists designed many sets taking the Eight Views of Omi as their starting point. Here, Autumn Moon over Saga Moor [Ishiyama].

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor trimming (usual, as they were printed two-to-a-sheet), otherwise very good condition. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)




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The faithful wife of Mama walking on a hillside with falling maple leaves. A chu-tanzaku set of eight prints: Kenjo hakkei, “Eight Views of Accomplished Women.” The set published by Ibaya Sensaburo, c 1843-5. Based on the famous Chinese Eight Views, Japanese artists designed many sets using the Eight Views of Omi as their starting point. Here, Clearing Weather at Mama [Awazu].

 

Very good impression and colour. Minor trimming (usual, as they were printed two-to-a-sheet), otherwise very good condition. Signed Cho-o-ro Kuniyoshi ga.

 

Status: Sold

 

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Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)



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A vertical oban diptych showing the poetess Kagano Chiyo (1703-1775). The story relates how Chiyo goes to her well to draw water only to find that a morning-glory vine has overgrown her bucket. Rather than disturb it, she goes to a neighbour for water. This is the subject of a famous poem by Chiyo. Published by Izumiya Ichibei mid 1840s.

 

 

Very good impression and colour. Paper slightly toned and one light crease. Ample room for joining. Signed Chooro Kuniyoshi ga.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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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