Ukiyo-e

wave

The Great Wave off Kanagawa

(神奈川沖浪裏 Kanagawa Oki Nami Ura)

Katsushika Hokusai
Year: c. 1829–32
Dimensions:   25.7 cm × 37.8 cm (10.1 in × 14.9 in)

kuniyoshi

The Sumō Bout at Akazawa Mountain

with Kawazo Saburō Sukeyasu (河津三郎祐親) on the right and Matano Gorō Kagehisa (股野五郎景久) on the left
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)
Year: 1858
Dimensions: tryptich, 30″ x 14″
Inscription: Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga一勇斎国芳画
Artist’s seal: kiri
Publisher: Maruya Kyūshirō (Marks 298 – seal 21-126)
Carver: Kane
Date seal: 4/1858
The most famous sumo wrestling match between Kawazo Saburō Sukeyasu (right) and Matano Gorō Kagehisa refereed by Ebina Genpachi at Akazawayama Mountain in 1176. In the background can be seen the first Kamakura shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo and his entourage. The match gave rise to a new maneuver called the “Kawazu hold.”
Kuniyoshi_drawing
One of Kuniyoshi’s great triptychs; much sought after and rare. The original preparatory drawing for this triptych is in the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden.

 

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Actors Ichikawa Ebizô V as Saimyôji Tokiyori and Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Mago Kobotoke Tôroku

No. 9 from the series Comparison of Fan Followings in the Eastern Capital (Tôto hiiki kurabe「東都贔屓競 九」 「最明寺時頼」五代目市川海老蔵、「馬士小仏藤六」四代目市川小団次
Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III), 1786–1864
Edo period – 1858 (Ansei 5), 9th month
Publisher: Sagamiya Tôkichi (Ai-To)
Dimensions: Vertical ôban, 36.4 x 24.7 cm (14 5/16 x 9 3/4 in.)
Play: Koharu no En Mitsugumi Sakazuki
Theater: Ichimura
Signed: Toyokuni ga, in toshidama cartouche 豊国画(年玉枠)
Markings: Censor’s seal: Horse 9 No blockcutter’s mark 改印:午九 彫師:なし

 

kunisada2

Actors Ichikawa Ebizô V as Banzui Chôbei and Kawarazaki Gonjûrô I as Shirai Gonpachi

「幡隨長兵衛」五代目市川海老蔵、「白井権八」初代河原崎権十郎
Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III), 1786–1864
Edo period – 1858 (Ansei 5), 10th month
Publisher: Sagamiya Tôkichi (Ai-To)
Dimensions: Vertical ôban; 36.3 x 25.8 cm (14 5/16 x 10 3/16 in.)
Play: Koharu no En Mitsugumi Sakazuki
Theater: Ichimura
Signed: Toyokuni ga, in toshidama cartouche 豊国画(年玉枠)
Markings: Censor’s seal: Horse 10 No blockcutter’s mark 改印:午十 彫師:なし

 

kunisada4

Actors Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Kô no Moronao and Nakamura Fukusuke I as Momoi Wakasanosuke

from the series The Heroes of the Storehouse of Loyal Retainers (Chûshingura meimei den)「忠臣蔵銘々伝」 「高師直」四代目市川小団次、「桃井若狭之助」初代中村福助
Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III), 1786–1864
Edo period – 1855 (Ansei 2), 8th month
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi (Japanese)
Blockcutter: Yokokawa Takejirô (Hori Take)
Dimensions: Vertical ôban; 35.9 x 25 cm (14 1/8 x 9 13/16 in.)
Signed: Toyokuni ga, in toshidama cartouche 豊国画(年玉枠)
Markings: Censor’s seals: aratame, Hare 8 Blockcutter’s mark: Hori Take 改印:改、卯八 彫師:彫竹

 

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Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III), 1786–1864
Edo period – 1858 (Ansei 5), 10th month
Publisher: Sagamiya Tôkichi (Ai-To)
Dimensions: Vertical ôban; 36.3 x 25.8 cm (14 5/16 x 10 3/16 in.)

 

toyokuni
「忠臣蔵銘々伝」「斧定九郎」「百姓与一兵衛」
from the series The Heroes of the Storehouse of Loyal Retainers (Chûshingura meimei den)「忠臣蔵銘々伝」 「高師直」四代目市川小団次、「桃井若狭之助」初代中村福助
Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III), 1786–1864
Publisher: Sagamiya Tôkichi (Ai-To)
Dimensions:
Vertical ôban; 36.3 x 25.8 cm (14 5/16 x 10 3/16 in.)

 

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Sensetsu Rokuju-roku Dan, Sixty-six Selected Snow Stories, 1882

Utagawa Yoshimune 2nd., 1863-1941
Size: 14 1/8 x 8 3/4 (36 x 22.3 cms)
This design is from a very striking series of prints entitled “Sensetsu Rokuju-roku Dan” (Sixty-six Selected Snow Stories) It was published by Akiyama Buemon in 1882. The printing is very fine. The left margin has been trimmed off and there is brown staining to the top right. The artist was the youngest son of Utagawa Yoshimune I, he became a pupil of Yoshitoshi at the age of thirteen. After his father’s death in 1880 he took the name Yoshimune 2nd. On the evidence of this series he should be judged one of the most talented of Yoshitoshi’s pupils.

 

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Summer Night Moon or Akashi Gidayu and Tiger

100 Aspects of the Moon (Tsuki hyakushi)
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (月岡芳年), 1839 – 1892
Dimensions: 13″ x 8 3/4″
One Hundred Aspects of the Moon – Considered his masterwork, Yoshitoshi’s series features one hundred oban size woodblocks, published between 1885 and 1892. These quiet and reflective prints, beautifully composed and drawn, feature subjects from traditional Japanese and Chinese history and legend, rendered with great sensitivity and emotion. The moon appears in all but a few prints, providing a unifying motif for the series.
Summer Night Moon – A wonderful, original Yoshitoshi print from his 100 Moon series depicting the General Akashi Gidayu preparing to commit ritual suicide (seppuku). In the face of defeat, suicide was considered an honorable option. After a major defeat, General Akashi was ordered not to kill himself by his commander, but he disobeyed.
His death poem (also visible in the upper right corner) reads:

As I am about to enter the ranks of those who disobey; ever more brightly shines the moon of the summer night.

 

yoshitoshi2

Takashima Oiko no hanashi 高島大井子の話 (The Strong Woman Oiko of Takashima)

Number 23 from the Series New Selections of eastern brocade pictures
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (月岡芳年), 1839 – 1892
Date: 1889
Markings: three color cartouché at upper right (first edition) published by Tsunashima Kamekichi/ signed: Yoshitoshi; sealed: Yoshitoshi, engraver: Horiko Wada
Size: oban diptych; each print approx. 9.375″ x 14″; 19″ x 14″
The Story of the Strong Woman Takashima Oiko of Omi Province from the series A New Selection of Eastern Brocade Pictures. The print depicts Takashima Oiko leading Saeki Urinaga home in an effort to strengthen him for a wrestling match. The artist’s signature and Taiso seal are at the lower left. The lower left margin contains the date of “Meiji 22” (1889). The title cartouche is at the upper right. Published by Tsunashima Kamekichi.
A similar print: The British Museum

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Japanese giga Ori-hon story book from the album Shinban Sanjuni so (新版三十二相)

Kobayashi Kiyochika, 1845-1915
Date: 1882
Size: 17.5 cm x 12 cm, 24 prints in a book
Signature: Hoensha Kiyochika hitsu
Publisher: Hara Taneaki
Kiyochika is a very highly regarded artist of the Meiji. Described as; “…the last important ukiyo-e master and the first noteworthy print artist of modern Japan” by Richard Lane in Images from the Floating World: The Japanese Print (Oxford University Press), he illustrates very nicely the growing bonds between east and west at the time. Kiyochika broke with ukiyo-e tradition by studying under a western artist, Charles Wirgman, who was resident in Japan from 1861 until the 1890’s. Wirgman was a satirist and publisher of Japan’s first magazine, The Japan Punch. Kiyochika’s understanding of caricature and satire are visibly the influence of his English mentor. These prints picture ordinary Japanese in ordinary pursuits, some comical, others serious. The idea stems from a deep Japanese fascination with physiognomy, a popular fairground attraction, and a recent vaudeville act in which a performer imitated emotional states and social types by rapidly changing facial expressions and incidental props.

 

kinryusan

Kinryusan Temple at Asakusa

From the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, Edo period (1615–1868), 1856
Ando Hiroshige, 1797–1858
Size: Oban H. 14 1/16 in. (35.7 cm), W. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm)
Here, a large lantern and a temple gate are so closely viewed that motifs are cropped, while the use of one-point perspective, a Western technique, to depict the pathway to the main hall of Kinryusan temple contrasts the powerful details of the foreground with the inexorability of the temple hall in the distance.

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