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Bell-ring Cricket, Mt. Fuji and a Parody of Kusazuri from the series Kyōsai Manga

Apricot in the Night, Nap, Dance of the Three-legged Kettle from the series Kyōsai Manga
 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Bell-ring Cricket, Mt. Fuji and a Parody of Kusazuri

from the series Kyōsai Manga

by Kawanabe Kyōsai, 1864


IHL Cat. #681

About This Print

Source: Comic Genius: Kawanabe Kyōsai, Oikawa Shigeru, Clark Timothy and Forrer Matthi, Tokyo Shinbun, 1996, p. 220.
Kyōsai gives us three images in this harimaze print - Mt. Fuji, a bell-ring cricket (suzumushi - known for its unique song) on a gourd vine with a crescent moon and a comic take on the kabuki play KusazuriKusazuri is a play "in which Goro and Juro try to get their revenge on Kudo Suketsune for killing their father.  Goro tries to join his brother Juro on stage but Asahina tries to hold him back.  Goro brakes wind, and Asahina loosens his grip."

The Series Kyōsai Manga

Source: Comic Genius: Kawanabe Kyōsai, Oikawa Shigeru, Clark Timothy and Forrer Matthi, Tokyo Shinbun, 1996, p. 32-33, 220-225.

This series, which used "legitimate Kano school subjects as their themes" depicted in comic situations, made Kyosai popular as an ukiyo-e artist.  Oikawa points out that what made Kyosai stand out from other period artists who used Kano school themes, such as Hokusai, was his "ability to parody the actual Kano school works" in  a "fresh new style" making him "the popular artist for comic prints."

At least ten prints are known to comprise this series and each single sheet includes several different subjects [harimaze-e] with each sheet including at least one comic scene.  "This series continued to be printed in the middle of the Meiji period, and several different types of editions exist.  At the time, these harimaze prints were cut into individual scenes and the small pieces were used to repair the holes in paper sliding doors and screens.  Kyosai’s humorous scenes were thus enjoyed in the everyday lives of the Japanese people."

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #681
 Title or Description  Bell-ring Cricket, Mt. Fuji and a Parody of Kusazuri 
 鈴虫, 富士見立草摺
 Series  Kyōsai Manga 狂斎漫画 [Cartoons by Kyōsai]
 Artist  Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831-1889)
 Signature
Kyōsai
(
斎)
top panel
  Seisei Kyōsai (惺々狂斎) gi (戯)
bottom panel
 Seal
unread artist's seal
 Publication Date
1864 (Bunkyū 4), 7th month [date and aratame censor seal 子七改]
 Publisher
Tsujiokaya Bunsuke (辻文版 printed on top margin to left of series title.  (partially trimmed on this print) [Marks: 02-064; publisher ref. 548]
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - slight wrinkling and soiling; top margin partially trimmed other margins complete; unbacked
 Genre  ukiyo-e, harimaze-e, giga-e
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  vertical oban
 H x W Paper
 14 x 9 7/8 in. (35.6 x 25.1 cm)
 H x W Image
 13 1/2 x 9 1/8 in. (34.3 x 23.2 cm)
 Collections This Print  Kawanabe Kyosai Memorial Museum
 Reference Literature
 Comic Genius: Kawanabe Kyōsai, Oikawa Shigeru, Clark Timothy and Forrer Matthi, Tokyo Shinbun, 1996, p. 220.


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