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Congratulations on Maritime Security for All Eternity

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Congratulations on Maritime Security for All Eternity

by Kawanabe Kyōsai, 1863

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

IHL Cat. #212

About This Print

This print depicts the return of Shogun Iemochi to Edo from Kyoto on the battleship Jundō-maru which is being protected by various deities.

Source: Demon of Painting: the Art of Kawanabe Kyōsai, Timothy Clark, British Museum Press, 1993, p. 114
In the spring of 1863, Shogun Iemochi (ruled 1858 – 66) was ordered to Kyoto to confer with the court on how and when the ‘foreign barbarians’ should be expelled from the country.  This was the first time in more than 100 years that the shogun had been summoned by the court in this way and was a high point of influence of the ‘revere the Emperor, expel the barbarians’ (sonnō jōi) faction.  Iemochi left Edo with a huge retinue on the thirteenth day of the second month, and arrived at Nijō Castle in Kyoto on the fourth day of the following month.

Kyōsai, like most inhabitants of Edo, would have wished the shogun success in his political mission, upon which rested the future economic prosperity of the city.  In the seventh month, 1863, he designed a triptych showing deities protecting the return of the Shogun to Edo in the battleship Jundō-maru1, an event that had occurred the previous month.

1 The Jundō-maru was a 360-horsepower ironclad paddle steamer, built in Britain, and purchased by the Bakufu for $150,000. [Source: Samurai Revolution: The Dawn of Modern Japan Seen Through the Eyes of the Shogun's Last Samurai, Romulus Hillsborough, Rutland and Tuttle Publishing, 2014, p. 218.]

Commemorating the Occasion
Source: "Kawanabe Kyosai and Toyohara Kunichika," by Shigeru Oikawa appearing in Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), by Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, p. 39. 
While this print depicts the return of the Shogun from Kyoto back to Edo after his meeting with Emperor Komei (1831-1867), it was the Shogun's trip to Kyoto that was most portrayed in woodblock prints.  At least thirteen artists, including Kyosai, were commissioned by approximately sixteen publishers to design prints commemorating the occasion.  Kyosai alone designed twenty-eight prints for the series.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #212
 Title or Description  Congratulations on Maritime Security for All Eternity!1
 海上安全万代寿 or 海上安全萬代寿 (Kaijō anzen bandai kotobuki)
 Artist  Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831-1889)
 Signature
Left sheet: 應需周麿 ōju Chikamaro [Artists would occasionally announce a requested design by placing ōju ("by special request") before their signatures.]
 Right sheet: 周麿 Chikamaro





 Seal  
Censor's Seal aratame, i, shichi 亥七改 [Boar 7]
 Publication Date  1863 (Bunkyū 3), 7th month 
 Publisher
Daikokuya Kinnosuke 大黒屋金之助 [Marks: seal ref. 24-002; pub. ref. 033]
seal reading Tsukiji, Daikin ツキヂ 大金
 Engraver
 
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - full size separate sheets; unbacked; minor wrinkling throughout; some staing on center sheet and right portion of right sheet
 Genre  ukiyo-e  Edo era (1603-1868)
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper
 14 x 9 3/8 in. (35.6 x 23.8 cm) each sheet
 Collections This Print  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 11.36777a-c; Waseda University Request Number:chi5 3975; The British Museum 1907,0531,0.642.1-3; The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University 201-1868, 1869, 1870
 Reference Literature
 Demon of Painting: the Art of Kawanabe Kyōsai, Timothy Clark, British Museum Press, 1993, p. 114, fig. 73.1

1English title supplied by Quintana Heathman, Research Assistant for Japanese Print Exhibitions Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


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