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Kyōsai hyakuzu, Putting Her Husband Under Her Behind and Plastering Mud on Her Husband's Face

Kyōsai hyakuzu, Watōnai, Master of Papier Mache
 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Putting Her Husband Under Her Behind and

Plastering Mud on Her Husband's Face

from the series Kyōsai Hyakuzu

by Kawanabe Kyōsai, c. 1863-1866

Study of Gaslight and Silhouetted Figures


IHL Cat. #1504

About this Print and the Series Kyōsai Hyakuzu


The Print
In both the top and bottom scenes Kyōsai portrays a husband dominated by his wife.  In the top scene, a wife sits on her husband smoking a pipe, while her husband holds a tabakobon (tobacco tray) for her comfort. The smoke from her pipe is spelling out the words noroma-yarō (のろま やろう), meaning "slow-witted man". To their left, their little girl, dressed in rags, is tracing out in the air (as children often due when learning new words) the characters from the pipe and learning from the bad example her parents are setting. In the bottom print, a wife is putting mud on her husband's face to keep him from seeing her lover hiding behind a hanging kimono, to whom she hands a love letter.


 
Illustrations of these proverbs from Cent Proverbes Japonais
[One hundred of the proverbs depicted in Kyōsai hyakuzu were translated into French in 1885 under the title Cent Proverbes Japonais by Francis Steenackers and Ueda Tokunosuke.]

Variant Printings
The popularity of these small prints led to numerous printings over the years.  A color variant state of the print is shown below.

 
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 11032-15

The Series
Source: Comic Genius: Kawanabe Kyōsai, Oikawa Shigeru, Clark Timothy and Forrer Matthi, Tokyo Shinbun, 1996, p. 206.
This print was issued as part of the series the Kyōsai hyakuzu 狂斎百図 (One Hundred Pictures by Kyōsai) which consists of more than 200 pictorializations of proverbs and depictions of famous subjects unrelated to proverbs. The prints were published continuously from 1863 to 1866* by the publisher Wakasaya and the works were later reprinted in album form by the publisher Ōkura Magobei (Ōkuraya) in 1881 and 1886.  The prints in this collection are likely from one of Ōkura Magobei's reprint editions, as they show evidence of having been removed from an album. 

One hundred of the proverbs depicted in Kyōsai hyakuzu were translated into French in 1885 under the title Cent Proverbes Japonais by Francis Steenackers and Ueda Tokunosuke.

This print series was very popular, enhancing Kyōsai's reputation and making a large profit for the publishers.

*1863-1866 are the most common publication dates provided for these prints, though the literature cites dates as early as 1862 for the first publication date and reprints of this series are still being made.  The prints were first issued by publisher Wakasaya Yoichi (aka Jakurindō Yoichi) as single-sheet prints, sold in ten print packages in a decorative envelope.  Ōkura Magobei (aka Yorozuya Magobei) re-published the prints in bound book/album form in the 1880s.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #1504
 Title or Description
 Putting Her Husband Under Her Behind and Plastering Mud on Her Husband's Face
 亭主を尻に敷く 亭主の顔へ泥を塗る
 Teishū o shiri ni shiku Teishū no kao e doro o nuru 
 Artist  Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831-1889)
 Series  Kyōsai hyakuzu 狂斎百図 (One Hundred Pictures by Kyōsai)
 Signature
Kyōsai tawamure 狂斎戯

 Seal (of the artist)  None
 Publication Date  unknown (originally c. 1863-1866)
 Publisher
Ōkura Magobei - originally issued by Wakasaya Yoichi and then reprinted in book form by Ōkura Magobei (Yorozuya Magobei).

 Engraver 
 
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - album backing; soiling
 Genre  ukiyo-e; giga (comic print)
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  koban [vertical yotsugiri (quarter ōban)]
 H x W Paper 
 7 x 4 5/8 in. (17.8 x 11.7 cm)
 H x W Image  6 11/16 x 4 7/16 in. (17 x 11.3 cm)
 Collections 
 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 11.36998; Ukiyoe Caricatures, University of Vienna 11032-15
 Reference Literature
 
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