More from my Woodblock Print Collection

This is a continuation of posting my print collection that ranges from the woodblock periods of ukiyo-e to shin-hanga. See earlier posting #1 “A Portion of my Woodblock Print Collection”.

Please excuse the lack of printmaking content once again as I’m “knee-deep” in trying to catch up with printing my Appalachian Trail series!

Utagawa Yoshiiku (a student of Kuniyoshi),“Cat Samurai” or “猫侍” c. 1865 I’m not sure if the present-day manga term “nekojin” was used back then or not…
Koitsu Hakozaki Hachimangu Temple
Koitsu “Hakozaki Hachimangu Temple” or “Hakozaki Hachimangu”, 1938
kuniyoshi shin yoshiwara
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Shin Yoshiwara” or “New Yoshiwara District“, from the series Toto Meisho (Famous places in the eastern capital) c. 1830. The scene portrays the famous Tokyo pleasure district after the 1657 fire. The design includes some very western rendering conventions for the day such as shadows. This piece is probably a reprint as the original is valued at $60K…
kuniyoshi nichiren
Utagawa Kuniyoshi “Monk Nichiren in Exile on Sado Island”, from the series “Illustration of Famous Monks”, 1835. The design depicts the famous monk who was banished in the 13th c. for teaching the Lotus Sutra. This is probably a 20th c. re-strike from a major publisher based on the all black kanji in the right-hand margin and differing snow pattern from known originals.
hiroshige portrait
Toyokuni III (Kunisada) “Hiroshige Portrait”, from Watanabe’s Memorial Tokaido Edition, 1918. I have this portrait (along with photos of Hiroshi Yoshida and Kawase Hasui) to watch over me as I print.
Artist Unknown, “Rice Planting”- Please contact me if you know anything about this.
Takahashi Hiroaki Moon at Ishiyama
Takahashi Hiroaki (Shotei), “Moon Over Ishiyama” (石山の上の月), 1936. An unusual almost pillar-print (strong vertical) format.
Artist Unknown, Kuniyoshi? – Please contact me if you know anything about this print.
hasui postcard1
Hasui “Kawaguchi” (a town north of Tokyo in the Saitama Prefecture) postcard print, c. 1930. I love how the clouds are formed with one bokashi impression.
hasui postcard2
Hasui postcard print, 1930s. Heavy goma-zuri (sesame printing) to indicate snow texture. Perhaps designed for the Christmas season.
Koitsu “Night Rain at Miyajima”, war-time 1941. I’m not a huge Koitsu fan, but this print has very rich, velvety blues. Can you spot the deer?
Sailboats Morning Yoshida Hiroshi2
Hiroshi Yoshida “Sailboats Morning”, 1926. A later Yoshida Studios posthumous re-strike. Double ōban size- 21 1/2″ × 15 5/8″ and absolutely beautifully printed.
sudden shower ohashi hiroshige
Utagawa Hiroshige, “Sudden Shower Over Shin-Ōhashi Bridge and Atake (Ōhashi Atake no Yūdachi)”. It’s interesting that the “Atake” in the title is from the bakufu (Shogun military) battleship “Atakemaru” named after the Portuguese word “attaque” (attack). There is a present-day ‘re-creation’ of the ship in Tokyo harbor. This print is undoubtably a 20th c. re-strike, possibly by Adachi & Co.

The next 3 prints are a collaboration between Hiroshige and Kuniyoshi based on mythology from the 53 Parallels of the Tokaido Road series printed around 1843. The title can be seen written in the reversed white lettering on a black background in the top right (『五十三平行東海道』)

kuniyoshi sea monk
Utagawa Kuniyoshi: “Sea Monk (Umi Bozu)” or “Kuwana”. This woodblock print illustrates the story of the sailor Kawanaya Tokuzo, who decides to go to sea on the last day of the year, which other sailors consider unlucky. A violent storm breaks out, and the Umi Bozu appears. In a ghastly voice the apparition demands, “Name the most horrible thing you know!” Tokuzo yells back, “My profession is the most horrible thing I know!” The monster is apparently satisfied with this answer and disappears along with the storm.
kuniyoshi storm
Utagawa Hiroshige “Hiratsuka” (Station 7, Print 8) a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture. The second figure seems ‘head-over-heels’ about the storm…


kuniyoshi centipede
Utagawa Kuniyoshi: “Kusatsu” a town in Japan’s Kantō region, is known for its hot-spring resorts. Love the centipede.
Utagawa Hiroshige, Fuji Marsh and Ukishima Plain Near Yoshiwara (Station #15) From the “Pictures of Famous Places on the Fifty Three Stations” series, 1855. This is most likely a mid- 20th c. reprint.


Now, it’s back to the printing bench for me!

2 thoughts on “More from my Woodblock Print Collection

  1. The one labelled ‘Artist Unknown – Rice Planting’ I have information on. I don’t know if you’re still trying to find out anything about it but I went to an auction a month back and got this Japanese art with that included. On the back of the frame was a lot of information about the artist and his life.

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