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Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国)

Print: No. 18 (十八), Hinazuru (ひな鶴の話) from the series
An Excellent Selection of Thirty-six Noted Courtesans
(Meigi sanjūroku kasen - 名妓三十六佳撰) 

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Dates: 1861,created
Dimensions: 10.0 in,14.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print
Inscription:

Signed: ōju Toyokuni ga
応需豊国画
Publisher: Tsutaya Kichizō
(Marks 556 - seal 25-427)
Combined date and censor's seal: 1/1861 and aratame

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna; Shizuoka Prefectural Central Library; Ritsumeikan University; National Museums of Scotland;

Physical description:

"The sheets in this series would have been unimaginable several years prior to this. Not only is it possible to clearly recognize the courtesans and their names, but the brothel's emblem is also visible. The texts in the cartouches are meaningless advertising about feminine grace and also allegedly contain poems written by those being depicted.

A mosquito lamp has been placed on the wooden floor, and a lamp burns with rotating shadow figures on the windowsill. There is a thunderstorm under way outside."

Quoted from: Samurai Stars of the Stage and Beautiful Women: Kunisada and Kuniyoshi, Masters of the Color Woodblock Print by Hatje Cantz, p. 221.

The text of the cartouche reads:

ひな鶴の話

ある わかうどと ちぎりたるに そがわかう
どは かんき を うけ しるべに 身をよせ
みるかげなき さまにて そこにひそみ
ゐると ほのきくままに たまづさして おもふ
こゝろをきこえ おきつあめ いたう
ふりける夜 こころしたる ひとびと と
はかりて くるわをぬけいでつ そが 隠れ
がへ いたりしとぞ

  しのぶ身にうれしき雨ぞ ほととぎす

こは その夜半のすさみになん

 三亭春馬 記

    栄中 書

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Illustrated in:

1) Samurai Stars of the Stage and Beautiful Women: Kunisada and Kuniyoshi, Masters of the Color Woodblock Print by Hatje Cantz, Museum Kunstpalast, p. 221, #206.

2) In Ukiyo-e: Japanische Farbholzschnitte des 19. Jahrhunderts - Schenkung Dr. Hans Lühdorf, by Friedrich W. Heckmanns, Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf im Ehrenhof, 1990, p. 77, number 107.

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This copy in the Lyon Collection is probably a later edition of this print than the one in the Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna. Compare the two and you will see that the smoke from the 'mosquito lamp' on the floor is definitely giving off wisps of smoke.