APPENDIX 2: NOTES
APPENDIX 2: NOTES
Page 43. Shunsen, pupil of Shunyei.
Besides this Shunsen, better known for purposes of distinction as Kashosai Shunsen (though he also signed
Katsukawa), there is another Katsukawa Shunsen, a direct pupil of Shunsho, whose work, however, is very rare;
less than half a dozen prints, all hoso-ye, by him are known to the writer, and consist of actor subjects
like his master's. The
sen of his signature is written in a different character to that used by Kashosai
Shunsen, and is the same as used by Yeisen; for purposes of distinction it may be read Izumi as an alternative.
Hiroshige's kakemono-ye. While no kakemono-ye of
Cherry Blossoms (generally the third subject
in a Settsu Gekka series) has been found, there is in existence one of a peacock on a rock upon which peony
flowers are growing below. This print may possibly be the missing flower-subject, with peony flowers instead of the usual
cherry-blossom. It has no title nor publisher's mark, but bears a censor's seal (Tanaka), which dates it between 1842
and 1853. It is even rarer than the other two prints. (See No. 3, Plate 61.)
A fourth very fine kakemono-ye by Hiroshige, which forms a fit companion to the preceding, is one representing a falcon perched on the bough of a pine tree, with the half-disc of a large sun above; two censor's seals and date-seal, 9th month, 1853; no publisher's seal.
Hokusai has designed a kakemono-ye (very rare) of the same subject, with a great red sun dimly seen through the mist above the bird, perched on a pine bough. This kakemono ye carries Hokusai's very rare signature of Fusenkio (usually found, and that rarely, only on surimono) in the form of a seal.
Another kakemono-ye by Hokusai represents a woman shell-diver coming up to the surface of the water, holding up an awabi shell in her left hand, and a chisel between her teeth; below her is the rock from which she has just detached the shell and others still clinging to it; signed Gwakio Jin Hokusai. The original of this, however, is a painting, the print being a very good reproduction of it, and it is only for this reason we mention it in case the reader should come across it.
Like Hiroshige's famous kakemono-ye, his three landscape triptychs, the Kiso Gorge under snow,
Kanazawa Bay in moonlight, and the Awa no Naruto Rapids, themselves form a Settsu Gekka series, the
sea-view of the rapids doing duty for the flower-scene, sea-water in Japanese being called poetically nami-no-hana,
waves of flowers.
Other famous triptychs by Hiroshige are the following: –
Title: Toto, Ryogoku Yusen no zue,
A View of Pleasure Boats at the Ryogoku Bridge, Yedo. The great
Ryogoku Bridge from mid-stream and another bridge seen in the distance through the arches; fireworks bursting in
the centre, overhead, in a shower of red stars; publisher's seal of Sano-ya Kihei.
Very rare; not mentioned in the Happer catalogue.
Women-pilgrims to the Shrine of Benten at Enoshima. There are two triptychs of this subject forming
companion-pictures to one another. Copies of both are in the B.M. Collection; publisher Sunimasa.
In one four companies of women, each company in distinctive coloured dress and carrying umbrellas, are converging towards the isthmus leading to the island.
The other shows the further side of the island with groups of women on the rocky path round the cliffs, and boys diving. In both triptychs the title is on the centre sheet.
Murasaki Shikibu, the poetess, contemplating Lake Biwa. She is shown seated on a balcony overlooking the
moonlit lake, across which runs the long Seta Bridge.
In order to write her classic romance, Genji Monogaiari, Murasaki (
Violet) Shikibu retired to the
Temple of Ishiyama, overlooking Lake Biwa, and spent the night of the August full moon in vigil in order
to become inspired.
Both the blocks and a modern impression therefrom made for Mr. Happer were presented by him to the British Museum, where they now are, and another modern impression, presumably made at the same time, recently appeared at an auction sale at Messrs. Sotheby's. No contemporary impression of this print is known, these two modern examples being the only ones recorded.
HOKKEI'S Shokoku Meisho series. The following are the thirteen plates comprised in this rare series:–
1. Shimotsuke no Nikko Urami gataki,
The Men on a log bridge behind the fall trying to see round it.
Seeing-from-Behind Waterfall, Nikko, Province of
2. Joshu no Mikuni Goyei Fudo toge,
Fudo, the protector of the Mikuni Pass, Yoshu Province. The god
Fudo seated on a rock by a waterfall, and a red sun shining through a pass in the mountains; a man and a woman
at the waterfall.
3. Musashi, Sumidagawa,
The Sumida River, Musashi Province. A ferryboat with passengers caught
in mid-stream in a torrent of rain.
4. Nagato Nuno Kari Jinji,
Nuno Kari Festival (Shinto), Province of Nagato. Two men, one carrying
a burning torch, running along the seashore against which a great wave rolls in.
5. Etchu, Tate-yama,
Tate Mountain, Etchu Province. People watching the burning sulphur and jets
of steam rising up from the boiling mud.
6. Sunshu, Omiya Kuchi Tozan,
Climbing the mountain at Omiya, Province of Sunshu. A party of men
climbing the slopes in the rays of a red sun at early morning.
7. Izu, Chinuki no Hi,
The Aqueduct of Chinuki, Izu Province. Travellers, one in a kago,
passing under the aqueduct on which is perched a crane, and the mass of Fuji rising up in the background.
8. Izu, Goseiki no Mida,
The Amida (Buddha) of Goseiki, Izu Province. A boat putting out
from shore in the trough of a great wave close to a big arched rock behind, and another rock projecting
from the water in front. The second masterpiece of the set.
9. Soshu, Hakone no Seki,
Hakone Barrier, Soshu. Snow-scene; mountain pass overlooking Hakone Lake.
10. Musashi no Sato,
Musashi Village. A winding road across flat rice-fields leading to the
huts of the village in the distance, and three horsemen wending their way thither; a flock of wild geese fly
across the half-disc of a huge moon resting on the horizon.
11. Sesshu, Sumiyoshi,
Sumiyoshi, Sesshu Province. View looking out to sea from behind the
tower of a temple.
12. Suruga, Satta-yama,
Satta Mountain, Suruga Province. Snow-scene. An uphill road overlooking
the sea on the right; three men carrying a box toil up the hill followed by a traveller on horseback.
13. Hizen, Inasa-yama,
Inasayama, Hizen Province, near Nagasaki. A European ship saluting as
she passes Mount Inasa, at entrance to Nagasaki Harbour. One of the masterpieces of the set.
(See Plate 19, page 132.)
silk-worm print: First-edition copies of this print may be recognized by being printed in a beautiful
but very uncommon colour-scheme of lilac, yellow, green, and blue; publisher Tsuru-ya. Explanatory text as
well as sub-titles is given on each sheet, except the last, which is without either; on certain sheets, Nos. 1, 2,
and 11, text only. A complete set, first edition, is in the British Museum and is described in detail in the
Utamaro's print of women making colour-prints. This series of six prints is designed to form two separate triptychs, both with the same title. Owing to this fact, and to the fact that they are very rarely found both complete, the two triptychs are confused, and sheets described as consecutive which, however, do not join as they belong to different triptychs. Five out of the six are in the British Museum collection, and are described in the catalogue under Utamaro, Nos. 99 and 109.
Page 187. Series signed
Further series with this rare signature are one of portraits of courtesans on a grey-wash background, without
title, publisher Yamamatsu (vide B. M. Catalogue, Utamaro, No. 33); and another with title
Bijin Hana Awase (
Beauties and Flowers Compared), publisher Omi-ya (vide B. M.
Catalogue, Utamaro, No. 35, for example).
Ten Physiognomies of Women series by Utamaro.
This is one of the most beautiful series of figure-studies ever designed by Utamaro. The face and figure are drawn naturally, full and rounded, and well proportioned, very different to the drawn-out and attenuated figure with which he is generally associated. A beautiful example of this very rare series is illustrated in colours in Gookin's Japanese Colour-Prints (New York, 1913). The title is on the right panel of a three-fold label, the centre panel blank, and the left-hand panel with signature Somi Utamaro ko gwa, followed by kiwame seal and publisher's seal (Tsuta-ya); mica background.
A second series of figure-studies, also with a rare form of signature, with a very similar label to the foregoing,
and with which it might at first sight be confused, is one entitled Fujin so gaku jutei,
Ten Types of Women's Physiognomies; signed Kwanso Utamaro,
Utamaro the Physiognomist.
In this set the label is a threefold panel in red outline (in the preceding one it is black), with the
series title in the right panel, an inscription setting forth the character of the woman portrayed in the centre one,
and signature in the left panel. Though the titles in Japanese of these two series are slightly different, their
meaning when translated is practically the same. The character ju (
ten) in this series is written
in the long or common form; in the other (with label in black) it is in the short form.
The series signed Kwanso Utamaro appears to have been issued jointly by two publishers; two examples from it catalogued in the B. M. Collection are from the publisher Yamaguchi Tobei, while a copy of a print before us from which we have taken the above description bears the mark of Tsuru-ya.
Page 188. Koriusai.
A well-known, but rarely seen, series by Koriusai in the almost square, medium- size shape of Harunobu, is one
entitled Meisho Zashiki Hak'kei,
Eight Views of Celebrated Indoor Birds, in which the scenes are
indirectly connected with the theme of the
Eight Famous Views. They are really eight interior or boudoir
scenes, a youth and a girl being the central figures in each, with a bird introduced into the picture. Seven out
of the eight are known to the writer as follows:–
Parrot, in this case a cockatoo): A youth feeding a white cockatoo on a perch; outside a pine
tree covered in snow – Evening Snow.
Falcon): The bird perched on a young man's hand; outside shines a moon above
mist – Autumn Moon.
Eagle): A youth painting an eagle on a tree-trunk on a screen and a girl standing
by listening to the sound of the Evening Bell.
Kyo Kwan-dori (
Raven): A youth and a girl looking at one in a cage – Clearing Weather (?).
Pheasant): The bird in a cage and a youth lying on the floor by a seated woman looking at it;
outside rain is falling – Night Rain.
Crane): A youth reclining on the floor and an oiran standing by watching two cranes
fly past – Homing Geese.
Parrot): A girl holding up a parrot on a perch and looking down at a youth reclining on the
floor – Sunset (?). (This plate illustrated in B. M. Catalogue at page 52.) Title in narrow upright panel
with name of bird below, and conventional cloud across top of picture; signed Koriu only.
Koriusai has copied Harunobu, practically line for line, in a series of large, almost square prints (10x7½),
Five Elements (Gogyo), that is the five elementary principles in a girl's education,
Jin – Shin – Rei – Gi – Chi (Love, Trust, Etiquette, Fidelity, Knowledge).
Harunobu's set is each signed in full Suzuki Harunobu, while Koriusai's is signed with his full name,
Koriusai; a print from his set is illustrated at page 16 by Von Seidlitz.
Page 189. Kiyonaga's series Fuzoku Adzuma no Nishiki.
This is an extensive and important series by Kiyonaga, and is generally met with in the form of diptychs (vide Gookin's Japanese Colour-Prints [New York] for reproduction of one in colours), though each sheet is complete in itself, but as some certainly appear to be parts of triptychs to give correct balance to the whole composition, it is probable that the series was originally a magnificent set of triptychs. The series title generally appears on one sheet only, so that many single sheets without any inscription on them probably belong to the set.
Page 192. FURTHER NOTES ON THE DESIGNERS OF FIGURE-STUDIES.
At Plate 62, page 346, we are able, by the courtesy of Mrs. Norton Brown, of Kyoto, and of Mr. Kobayashi, of Tokyo,
the owner of the original, to reproduce a very fine large head-study by Hokusai; signed Kako (c. 1795).
This print is believed to be the only one of this nature by Hokusai in existence; it is a unique production. The writer
has not been able to find any reference to figure-studies by Hokusai such as this in any book on the subject of
Japanese Prints. Quite recently, however, a modern reproduction of this print, on mica ground, was noted in a sale
catalogue. The inscription, alongside the signature of Kako, reads, Furyu Nakute Nana Kuse,
Refined (Presentation of) Seven Bad Habits (or Vanities); one woman is so proud of her teeth that she is
always cleaning them, and the other, who holds in her mouth a hollow dried kernel with a bean inside it, which
makes a whistling sound when blown through, is an incessant chatterbox.
Some Famous Triptychs:–
By KIYONAGA: (i) Pleasure Boats on the Sumida River. Parties in two large pleasure boats passing underneath the great Ryogoku Bridge, the trestles of which appear behind as a background; through them is seen the green landscape of the opposite shore. No title. (See Ficke catalogue, No. 205; £125.)
(ii) The Ferry. A ferry-boat on the Sumida River in mid-stream; Fuji in the distance. The centre sheet, containing exquisitely drawn figures of two women, a man, and a child, is illustrated in the Ficke catalogue, No. 208. (£58).
(iii) The Ferry. Another triptych of the same subject, showing the forepart of the ferry-boat with six passengers (four seated) just reaching the shore on which stand two women awaiting it. Generally found with left-hand sheet missing. No title.
(iv) Viewing Cherry Blossom at Dokan Yama. (Reproduced at page 36 in Gookin's Japanese Prints [N. York, 1913], and another copy, in stronger and deeper colouring in B. M. collection, right-hand sheet illustrated in catalogue thereto.) Women and children strolling about the undulating country admiring the cherry blossom. No title.
(v) An Actors' Boating Party. The forepart of a great pleasure barge with roof overhead, crowded with actors and their friends watching a dressed-up monkey dancing to music of two samisen and a small drum; round the barge press smaller boats crowded with people looking on. No title.
(vi) Scene at a Tea-house and two dancers, one with an umbrella, performing on a balcony overlooking Yedo Bay, before a man and woman, waitresses and geisha grouped in front, and a man beating the end of a floor candlestick like a drum; on the right-hand sheet a man and a woman in bed behind a mosquito curtain, and two women talking to one another outside. No title. A rare triptych.
Angiusai ENSHI (c. 1780-1790). A very rare artist, probably pupil of Shunsho but follower of Kiyonaga in style.
Triptych: Uyeno Temple and Grounds. A very beautiful print in soft and delicate colouring. The foreground filled with groups of men, women, and children, promenading about in the tree-lined avenue leading up to the Temple in background (centre sheet); in background of left-hand sheet appears, through the trees, the Shinobazu pond. This print has been noted both as a diptych (centre and left sheet), in which form it is more likely to be met with, and as a complete triptych, which is very rare. In the former both sheets are signed in full Angiusai Enshi, and in the latter each sheet Enshi only, but in a different script.
Triptychs by UTAMARO: –
(i) The Awabi Shell Divers of Ise. Considered Utamaro's most famous triptych and very rare; it is said less than a dozen copies were ever printed. A group of five figures (large) on a rock amidst sea-waves. Too well known to need detailed description; illustrated by Von Seidlitz and in B. M. Catalogue. Has been well reproduced.
(ii) Awabi Shell Divers. Another print of the same subject. On a long, narrow, projecting neck of land
groups of women and children watch women diving for shells; the left foreground of the triptych contains a boat
with its bow run against the neck of land, with other divers in it. From the form of Utamaro's signature this
triptych appears to be the earlier of the two. No title.
*** Not recorded by Kurth.
(iii) Taiko with Five Yoshiwara Beauties. In the centre sits Hideyoshi (Taiko), holding a sake cup
in one hand and a fan in the other, surrounded by five frail beauties; in the midst of his enjoyment there enters
(on the left) his wife, Kita no Mandokoro, beneath an umbrella carried by a servant. Title,
A Picture of the Pleasures of Taiko with Five Women in the Happy Land.
*** Published in 1804 as a satire on the debauched life of Hideyoshi (1536-1598), the conqueror of Korea, this print gave great offence to the equally dissolute reigning Shogun, Iyenari, and Utamaro was thrown into prison, a punishment which hastened his death, his constitution already enfeebled by over-indulgence in the pleasures of the Yoshiwara.
(iv) Picking Persimmon. One of Utamaro's most magnificently coloured triptychs. Scene in a garden in centre of
which grows a persimmon tree, and a man up it handing down a branch of fruit to three ladies below; on the right a girl,
lifted up on another woman's shoulder, picks the fruit, while a third, kneeling, fills a basket with it; on the left
two women pull down a branch with a long bamboo pole to within reach of a third who plucks off the fruit.
Publisher Wakasa. No title.
*** Not recorded by Kurth.
(v) A Young Prince's Dancing Lesson. A very beautiful and graceful figure- study. In the centre sheet is the
prince in courtly dress holding an open fan and dancing; before him is seated his sword-bearer. On the left are
the ladies of the orchestra in front of a screen decorated with cranes on the seashore; on the right stands his mother
and two attendants seated in front of a screen, on which is Utamaro's signature, decorated with peonies.
Publisher Tsuruya. No title.
*** Unrecorded by Kurth.
(vi) Fishing by Night on the Sumida River. Night scene under a crescent moon. A party of men and women on a covered-in pleasure barge alongside a fishing-boat, watching a man hauling up his net, which forms a screen right across the centre of the picture. No title.
Seven Ri Beach stretching away in the background towards the island of Enoshima, and
parties of women making their way thither, one on horseback (centre), another in a kago (left), and
others walking (right). In the distance (left) rises the peak of Fuji. Publisher Tsuruya. No title.
A Ladies' Stopping-place (Inn). Three ladies retiring to rest behind a large mosquito
curtain, and three other women outside, two of them the inn servants. Title on narrow upright label on each sheet.
Publisher Tsuruya. This triptych is notable for the unusually tall figures, a characteristic common to
Utamaro's single prints of his later years, but not so as a rule to his triptychs.
(ix) Carrying Salt Water. A group of seven women in straw skirts on the seashore carrying salt water in buckets suspended from yokes over their shoulders, and in the centre sheet a man also engaged filling the buckets from a pail; on extreme right a small boy looking on. Publisher Wakasa. No title.
(x) Night Festival on Sumida River. A famous and very fine print. On the left stretches away the great Ryogoku Bridge to the distant shore opposite, in the centre a firework is being let off from a boat in mid-stream. In the foreground promenade or rest groups of ladies and children on a deep black ground which shades off to grey on the river. Artist's signature and publisher's sign (Yamaguchi-ya Chusuke) in white characters on black ground. No title.
(xi) Geisha Performance in a Daimyo's Palace. In the centre of a large room looking out on to a garden a geisha posturing, the musicians seated on the left, and the lady of the house with her attendants watching on the right from behind a screen. In the distance, from another wing of the palace, watches her lord. In the foreground are numerous servants and other members of the household who appear to be amusing themselves on their own account with little heed to the dancing. Thus on the extreme left a girl whispers something to a man (said to be the artist Kitao Masanobu), kneeling on the floor heavy with sake, while another makes fun of him from behind a screen; in the centre an introduction is taking place, and on the right two girls struggle for a letter. No title. Early work.
(xii) A Summer Storm. A famous triptych. People seeking shelter from a thunderstorm under a large tree,
and a man and two women under an umbrella rushing for refuge to it. (See Plate 63.) A rare print, of which
the right-hand sheet is more usually met with as a single print. No title.
*** Not mentioned by Kurth.
(xiii) A Holiday at Enoshima. View of the shore and rocky coast near Enoshima looking across the water to Fuji in
the distance (left). In foreground groups of women and children; on the left a woman seated, fishing with a rod and
line, and flicking up a sprat she has just caught; beside her a man smoking, and a woman in a large sun-hat waving
her hand to a friend. In the centre stand two women looking at a child who has fished up an old sandal;
on the right approach two other ladies and a boy carrying a mat. No title.
*** Early work. Not recorded by Kurth.
(xiv) A Princess's Hawking Party. One of Utamaro's most beautiful figure- studies. In the centre a Princess,
over whom an attendant holds an umbrella, has alighted from her norimon, which has just been landed from
a ferry-boat on the top of a stone-walled embankment on the Sumida River; on the right is the boat against the
landing-place and attendants carrying boxes and spear-bearers waiting to disembark; on the left a young
samurai with hawk on wrist and three girls, two carrying boxes, wait to move off. Publisher Wakasa.
No title. Later period.
*** Not recorded by Kurth.
Pentaptych by UTAMARO.
House-cleaning at the end of the Year. A well-known but rare print by Utamaro, often described as a triptych owing to the two sheets on the right being generally missing. An interior scene with many figures, servants house-cleaning and playing jokes upon other (male) members of the household; thus on the extreme right-hand sheet three of them trip up a chamberlain; in another sheet a young man is being carried out by the legs and arms as if he was as much out of place as the two mice which a woman in the left sheet is chasing with her broom.
Triptychs by Kubo SHUNMAN:–
(i) The Ichiriki Tea-House, Kyoto. Yuranosuke playing blindman's buff with the tea-house girls, the 7th Act of the Chushingura. Yuranosuke, with eyes bandaged, is on the right-hand sheet; in the centre are three geisha, two of them with samisen, one sitting on the engawa looking on; in the background of the left sheet are two of Moronao's spies drinking sake. Considered one of his masterpieces. Very rare.
(ii) Night Scene outside a Tea-house. Scene outside a fence round a tea-house at the comer of two roads,
and people going home. At the top of the picture (centre sheet), over the fence, appears an upper room, in
candlelight, and two men and a woman seated, listening to a poetry-reader. On the right-hand sheet, by a gate
in the fence, is a lady and her maid who carries a lantern, the rays from which brightly light up a part
of her dress; passing them is a woman carrying a basket of fish. Considered Shunman's chief masterpiece.
*** This print is notable for its peculiar colouring, being mainly in sombre hues of grey and black, the brightly-coloured parts being only those whereon the light of candle or lamp falls. Yet there is no attempt to carry out the reality of darkness, as might be inferred, but this is implied by the usual conventional treatment common to the art of Ukiyoye.
(iii) Temple Visitors. A group of nine people in the portico of a temple, looking out over a vista of flat fields and the Sumida River in the distance (right). Publisher Yeijudo. No title.
Triptychs by SHUNZAN. In addition to the triptych illustrated at Plate 31, page 186, the following notable and rare prints by Shunzan should be mentioned:–
(i) Village of Futami. In foreground a large party of travellers, one (a woman) on horseback (centre sheet),
with two children in panniers on either side; on the right entrance to a tea-house, and three women coming out;
background of wooded hills and the sea, with the
Husband and Wife rocks close to the beach. No title.
Morning Twilight. A group of six women and a man promenading in the early morning on
high ground overlooking Yedo Bay; title on a fanciful round panel on each sheet.
(iii) Temple of Sen-so-ji, Asakusa. On the right is the entrance guarded by the Ni-d-Kon-Go,
Two Great Kings, two hideous demons in cages. In front of them are offerings of incense and votive offerings,
and on the ground boxes containing the
hundred measures, and a woman kneeling in front of one depositing
therein her measure. Foreground crowded with people. No title.
(iv) Temple of Sen-so-ji. The same subject as the foregoing with a full front view of the entrance with
the two demons on either side, looking through to the grounds and buildings beyond; foreground filled with
people. No title.
*** These two triptychs constitute Shunzan's masterpieces.
(v) River Festival. Seated on low benches, or walking about, are groups of men and women on the bank overlooking the Sumida River crowded with gaily decorated pleasure barges and boats. Publisher Yeijudo.
Triptychs by SHUNCHO:–
(i) Interior Scene in a Daimyo's Palace. Twelve ladies grouped about in a large apartment opening on
to a garden, some engaged in making preparations for the
Dolls' Festival, a girl in the centre sheet carrying
a laden dish on a tray, followed by another bearing branches of peach-blossom.
(ii) A Picnic. Scene in undulating country with trees and flowering shrubs. In the centre a low platform covered with a red cloth, and on it five ladies, two of them standing; others grouped round it, and on the left a girl and small boy catching insects off a shrub to put in a cage which stands at the corner of the table by them.
Eight Parts Bridge over an iris pond, and oirans and their kamuro
admiring the flowers. The names of the oirans are given as follows: right sheet, Maiyu-zumi of Daimoni-ya;
centre, Shizuka of Tama-ya; and left, Yuba-ye of Ogi-ya.
Triptychs by YEISHI. In addition to the famous series of Genji triptychs and others already referred to in Chapter XX, the following are noteworthy examples:–
(i) A Reception. On the right kneels a gentleman between two kneeling ladies, bowing to a lady in the centre, who holds out a sake cup in one hand, and a samisen in the other, lying across her knees; on the left a screen behind which kneels a manservant, and two women standing by.
(ii) The Pleasure Boat. A noble lady seated under the awning of a large pleasure boat, on the Sumida River, surrounded by other ladies; in the bow dances a woman to the music of a drum and a tsuzumi played by two other women, a little girl sitting by.
(iii) A Garden Fete. Under a trellis of wistaria hung with lanterns four tall women (two on each sheet) are walking; behind them a bed of peonies in flower enclosed by a miniature bamboo railing, one woman on the right carrying a samisen case.
(iv) The Good and Evil Influences. Scene in one of the
Green-Houses of the Yoshiwara, and guests
being entertained by the women, while mingling with the assembled company are a number of tiny figures with bald
heads and characters for faces, some urging on the guests to excesses, others restraining them. A very similar
print has been designed by Choki, but the scene is laid outside instead of inside, and the little figures are
larger in proportion to the figures of the men and women.
(v) Garden of the Kano-o House. Six women seated or standing on the engawa facing a garden wherein are placed two artificial figures of a tiger (left sheet) and a dragon (centre), the tail of which stretches away into the right-hand sheet. Behind it is a monument on an island in an iris pond, with an inscription upon it, and also a notice board, an advertisement of the maker of the artificial animals.
(vi) The Treasure Ship. Another triptych of this subject, different to that mentioned in Chapter XX. The forward end of a covered-in pleasure barge wherein are seven ladies as the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, and a single male guest. In the middle stands one as Daikoku holding a fan painted to represent his mallet, and pointing to another, seated, as Ebisu with rod and line, at end of which is a tiny fish; the others have no special attributes.
(vii) Scene in a Nobleman's Palace. One of Yeishi's most beautiful compositions (reproduced in colour in Gookin's Japanese Prints). A large apartment with a view beyond of Yedo Bay; eleven ladies and a girl seated or standing about, two of them writing poems on tanjaku. In the recess behind hang three kakemono with pictures of three of the Rok'kasen, Bunya-no-Yasuhide, Ono-no-Komachi and Sojo Henjo. Publisher Yeijudo.
(viii) Ryaku-Tsure-zure-Gusa (title of a book dealing with refined occupations). On the right a lady seated at a table playing the koto, and by her another standing holding a sho (an instrument like miniature organ pipes); in the centre a lady feeding a crane and another standing by watching it; on the left two ladies standing and talking together, one holding a court fan. Background of conventional cloud over-written with poems. Title as above on narrow panel on each sheet. Publisher Yeijudo.
Possibly complete as a pentaptych forming a companion to the following:–
(i) Pentaptych: A Princess's Music Party: Sheet I (right), a lady standing, holding a fan, talking to another, kneeling, by a large decorated gong; (2) behind a reed screen, which extends across three-quarters of the picture, sits the princess, in front of her is a lady playing the koto, on her right sits another watching from behind the screen, in front a lady making obeisance; (3) a lady playing the sho, and another standing behind her; (4) Yoshitsune, with sword in bearskin scabbard, playing his flute, behind him a lady with a shakuhachi (bamboo flute), and another standing; (5) two ladies playing ken, and a third, kneeling, performing on a tsuzumi. Publisher Yeijudo.
(ii) Pentaptych: Pleasure Boats on the Sumida River. On the right stretches in perspective the piles of the great Ryogoku Bridge; in the centre, filling nearly the whole picture, is a great covered-in pleasure barge, crowded with people, and smaller boats round it.
Triptychs by YEISHO:–
(i) Investiture of a Prince on his attaining his majority by beautifully attired ladies with his sword, hat, robe, and other symbols of his coming of age.
(ii) Interior of the
House of the Clove, with three of the oirans of Choji-ya
seated in front of a panel decorated with a huge ho-ho bird which stretches right across the background.
On the right is seated Toyotsumi writing a letter; in the centre Michiyama holding a pipe and
talking to Senzan (left) who holds a fan. Publisher Yamaguchi-ya Chusuke.
Hana-ogi oj Ogiya going into the Country. In the centre is Hanaogi with a
kamuro and two shinzo, and groups of three women on each of the other two sheets,
all under cherry-blossom.
(iv) Yoshitsune serenading Jorurihime. On the right stands Yoshitsune outside the gate, playing his flute; by him stands a youthful sword-bearer. Inside the gate is a lady holding up a lantern to see who the player might be; on centre sheet are three other ladies, two sitting, looking at Yoshitsune; on left sheet is seated Joruri-hime with a koto in front of her, listening to the strains of the flute, a child on her left, and a young lady on her right. The scene is laid on a veranda, looking on to hilly country and a mountain stream in background. Publisher Yeijudo.
Triptychs by TOYOKUNI. (Toyokuni has left such a large number of fine triptychs, the product of his earlier years, that we can only here mention a few of the best that have been noted.)
(i) The Bath House. A group of six women, two on each sheet, in the ante-room of a public bath house, one in the centre kneeling and dressing her little boy. (Reproduced in colour in Gookin's Japanese Prints.)
(ii) Street Scene, Yoshiwara. A long perspective view of the main street leading to the great gate in the
distance, and the
green-houses on either side; the foreground filled with oirans and their guests,
with attendant kamuro; signed in very unusual hira-kana characters. A beautiful print in
soft and subdued colours.
(iii) Interior oj Choji-ya. A long perspective of a corridor on an upper floor, open on the left on to
a balcony; in foreground beautifully robed oirans, in the centre sheet one with a male guest, who is
making eyes at another kneeling close by. On the left a waiter mounts the stairs from the floor below,
and two women looking at him. A rare triptych.
(iv) A River Party at Night. Two boats fill the whole foreground of the picture; overhead explodes a firework (see Plate 63, Illustration 3, page 350).
Flower and Bird Tea-House. Garden scene, with an aviary stretching away behind on the right,
and a portion of the tea-house on the left; foreground filled with promenading figures. Publisher Yeijudo.
Deer Tea-House. Companion print to the foregoing. Garden scene with an aviary in the background,
ladies seated on benches in foreground, and others standing talking.
(vii) A Windy Day. One of Toyokuni's most famous triptychs, notable for its rhythm. Two women, one standing on a bucket held by a companion, and the other held up on a man's shoulder, tie poem-slips to the branches of a cherry tree; on the left, their mistress, embarrassed by the high wind, is helped along by two lady attendants; all have their garments wildly blown about them. Publisher Senichi. (Illustrated in the B. M. Catalogue at page 268.)
(viii) Procession oj Ornaments. Along a covered footbridge over a stream, leading from one part of a daimyo's palace to another, passes a procession of six ladies all carrying different decorations for a festival, followed behind by two children; on the left two women make obeisance as the procession approaches, while in the background, behind a reed screen, the lady of the household looks on. Publisher Senichi.
(ix) A Noble Lady alighting from her Norimon, richly lacquered in black and gold, which has been set down; her ladies-in-waiting grouped round it, while one assists her ladyship over whom a young man holds an umbrella. One of Toyokuni's finest prints.
(x) Floating Sake Cups down a Stream. A group of nine ladies, three on each sheet, by a stream, engaged in racing sake cups; background a beautiful landscape scene dotted about with cherry trees in blossom, dominated by the snow-capped peak of Fuji.
(xi) The Dream. One of Toyokuni's best known triptychs. Interior scene in a daimyo's palace;
in the centre a noble lady leaning on an arm-rest asleep, her dream represented above by a scene from the
Mouse's Wedding, typifying marriage. Around her are women variously employed, those on the left playing
Hundred Poets game, which one of them checks from a copy of the
Pentaptychs by TOYOKUNI:–
(i) Viewing Fuji. A Noble Lady (2nd sheet, R.) with an attendant on each side, and a man behind holding a large umbrella over her walking along the seashore at Tago; in front of her is a procession of ten other women and girls, some carrying spears in their tufted coverings. In the background rises the great mass of Fuji, its upper part snow-covered. Publisher Wakasa.
(ii) A Bridal Procession. In the centre is the bride with three lady attendants, one of whom holds her hand; behind, another holds an umbrella over her, and others follow in the procession. In front are three other women and two children, the procession being headed by a young samurai. In the background rise the high- pitched roofs of a temple, above low-lying mist and hilly country beyond. Publisher Senichi. Early work.
Triptych by TOYOKUNI and KUNIMITSU, a pupil, in collaboration:–
Young Ox, i.e. Yoshitsune) fencing before a party of ladies, a parody of his fight with the
Tengu. In the centre the hero leaps high in the air above the heads of two ladies, armed, like himself,
with branches of plum blossom; on the right sits a princess (in place of the Tengu king), surrounded
by her ladies-in-waiting, holding up a large open court fan, and acting as umpire; on the left three more ladies
armed with plum-blossom branches; landscape background, with a great Fuji (left) on horizon. Figures by Toyokuni,
who signs only the left-hand sheet; landscape by Kunimitsu, who signs the other two sheets. Publisher Senichi.
TOYOHIRO has left two very fine pentaptychs showing street scenes in Yedo, one in Odemma cho, with the large shop of Dai Maruya, and the other of Owari cho with the emporium of Ebisuya; in both are groups of ladies and children passing to and fro in the foreground outside the building.
We have mentioned in Chapter XX two artists in connection with their picture- books, namely Kitao SHIGEMASA
(1739-1820), and Kitao MASANOBU (1761-1816), his pupil; Shigemasa himself being a pupil of the great Shigenaga.
Both these are in the front rank of Ukiyoye artists, but are better known as such by their book-illustrations,
their full-size, single sheets being very uncommon. Masanobu, however, was, in his day, more celebrated as a writer
and poet under the name of
Santo Kioden (vide triptych (xi) by Utamaro described above).
The draughtsmanship of both these artists in their magnificent full-size sheets is superb; even the great Kiyonaga
must bow to Shigemasa. A very fine example by Masanobu is illustrated in colours at our frontispiece, one of a set,
Beauties of the East, West, North, and South. Both these artists rarely signed their prints,
with the result that it is very difficult at times to distinguish between them, though so marked is their
individuality that they can be readily recognized from the other great figure-designers such as Koriusai
or Kiyonaga. Five large-size prints are catalogued in the B. M. collection under Shigemasa, but all are unsigned.
As a testimony to Shigemasa's work during his lifetime we quote below a record  given by a contemporary engraver
in the following words:
Though Shunsho was pre-eminent in his own special sphere of portraiture of stage-actors,
yet he was less versed in the laws of general painting than Shigemasa, from whom he was ever willing to seek advice
and receive instruction. A proud testimonial indeed, particularly when we remember that Shigemasa was over
twelve years junior to Shunsho.
Besides the collaboration of these two in the two books already mentioned in Chapter XX, they, in conjunction
with a third artist, Toyoharu, joined forces a third time in the production of a series of medium-size, almost
square prints entitled The Twelve Months, each artist contributing four to the set, which is very rare.
Each scene is divided diagonally into two, a device which enables anyone to recognize them readily, but which
can only be described in Mr. Ficke's words as one of
unfortunate and ingenious ugliness. The design,
however, is retrieved to some extent by the delicate figures which have a certain amount of charm about them.
The series is divided as follows amongst the three artists:–
Shigemasa: 1st, 5th, 9th, and 11th months.
Shunsho: 2nd, 4th, 7th, and 12th months.
Toyoharu: 3rd, 6th, 8th, and 10th months.
A well-known triptych showing Yoritomo on the seashore at Kamakura, by the large torii of the shrine, indulging in his favourite sport of flying cranes with poem- slips tied to their legs, is by Shigemasa, and is generally found unsigned, for which reason it is nearly always attributed to Toyokuni II (Gosotei), or sometimes to Utamaro, but a copy from the Ritchie collection has been noted signed in full Kitao Shigemasa; publisher Yeijudo.
An unsigned copy is in the B. M. collection, and is there correctly catalogued under Shigemasa; two sheets of it are reproduced in colours in the late Mr. Joly's Legend in Japanese Art.
What should increase our admiration for Shigemasa's talented pupil, Masanobu, is the fact that he ceased designing prints when he was only about twenty-five years old, and when he had already produced designs which would have brought fame to many an artist of maturer years. Had he not, after showing such great promise, abandoned art for literature, there is no doubt that he would have risen to greater heights than even Kiyonaga, whose equal he already was, and become the master of Ukiyoye.
Kitao Masanobu, of course, must not be confused with the earlier Okumura Masanobu, one of the Primitives, and founder of the Okumura school, a confusion only likely to be made by the beginner; both employ different characters for the second half of the name (nobu). (Vide reproduction in Appendix IV.)
Another pupil of Shigemasa was Kitao MASAYOSHI (1761-1824) whose single-sheet prints are also very uncommon;
his book-illustrations are less so. He is noted for his very large panoramic views, the first of their kind, like
that illustrated in the Tuke catalogue at Plate XI, and for his sketches of flowers, animals and fish, such as his
book of two volumes Nami no Sachi (
Pictures of Fishes and Shells, literally
the Sea), in colours (Yedo, 1775). The representations of fish are extraordinarily lifelike.
A third pupil is Enshutei SHIGEMITSU (w.c. 1800), whose biography is unknown, and who is only known to the writer by one print in his collection. He is mentioned here in case the reader should meet with an example by him.
In the domain of figure-studies as distinct from actor-portraits, Toyokuni's finest work is probably his series
entitled Jin, Gi, Rei, Chi, Shin, that is the
Five Cardinal Virtues, title on upright panel;
 Quoted from Major Sexton's paper Suzuki Harunobu and Some Others in Trans. of Japan Society (Vol.XVII).