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The Manrin Restaurant, Shinagawa-chō from the series Thirty-Six Modern Restaurants

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

The Manrin Restaurant, Shinagawa-chō 

from the series Thirty-Six Modern Restaurants

by Toyohara Kunichika, 1878

The seventh month: Suketakaya Takasuke IV from the series Famous Views for the Twelve Months

IHL Cat. #2019

About This Print

One of thirty-six prints in the series Thirty-Six Modern Restaurants issued in 1878.  The print's composition, described below as "a jarring juxtaposition" of the traditional and modern, captures, in my view, the changing reality that was Tokyo in the early Meiji period, where tension between tradition and modernity was ever present and life was becoming a "jarring juxtaposition" of the traditional and the Western.

The names of the two courtesans given in the rectangular red cartouches have not been translated. It would be appropriate if the Westerners pictured were Dutch, as the Dutch introduced single point perspective (which Kunichika employs in this print) to Japan in the 17th century.

A Jarring Juxtaposition
Source: Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, p. 19.
"In response to public demand and therefore publishers’ requests, Kunichika designed prints with… ‘Western’ compositional elements. Kunichika’s attempts at combining the traditional and the ‘modern’ often resulted in an interesting hybrid, although not always successful stylistically. Such is seen in a prints of two entertainers (possibly unlicensed prostitutes) descending a staircase at the Manrin restaurant in Shinagawa-chō from Thirty-six modern restaurants. The staircase opens onto a foyer which is rendered in sharp vanishing point perspective. To the left is a tile wall illustrating Dutch women and a child on horseback in a style borrowed from Nagashiki-e. It is a jarring juxtaposition to the more conventional treatment of the two Japanese women."

Prints Advertising Restaurants
Kunichika designed at least three other series that served as advertisements for the restaurants depicted, including the 1870 series Thirty-Six Tokyo Restaurants (Tōkei sanjūroku kaiseki 東京三十六会席) and Twelve Drinks at Restaurants: A Story in One Gulp (Kaiseki Jûnishu Hitokuchi Banashi 会席十二酒一ト口噺); and the 1875 series Beauties Matched with Eight Views of Restaurants (Mitate kaiseki hakkei 美立会席八景)


 
Geisha from the Hiramtasu Restaurant in Nihonbashi from the series Thirty-Six Tokyo Restaurants, 1870

Rat (Ne): The Kōhiya Restaurant in Asakusa; Actor Onoe Kikugorō V, poetry name Baikō, as Nikki Danjō; from the series Twelve Drinks at Restaurants: A Story in One Gulp, 1870
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 11.40482

 Clearing Weather at Koami no mori (Koami no mori seiran): The Hyakuseki-rō Restaurant in Shin-Yoshi-chô and the Geisha Yama of the Masakiya in Moto-Osaka-machi, from the series Beauties Matched with Eight Views of Restaurants, 1875
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 11.34930
 

The Manrin Restaurant, Shinagawa-chō  from the series Thirty-Six Modern Restaurants by Toyohara Kunichika, 1878 The seventh month: Suketakaya Takasuke IV from the series Famous Views for the Twelve Months, 1878
IHL Cat. #2019


Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #2019
 Title (Description) The Manrin Restaurant, Shinagawa-chō 
品川町 万林 Kaika Sanjuroku Kaiseki
 Series  Thirty-Six Modern Restaurants (also seen translated as Thirty-Six Restaurants in New Tokyo and Thirty-Six Famous Restaurants and Views of Civilization
  開化三十六會席
 Artists  Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900) and Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831-1889)
 Signatures
豊原国周筆 Toyohara Kunichika hitsu 
 Seals  red Toshidama seal 年玉印 beneath Kunichika signature as seen above
 Publication Date
1878 明治十一 [date seal trimmed from this margin on this print]
 Publisher
 武川清吉 Takekawa Seikichi (沢村屋清吉 Sawamuraya Seikichi) - Marks pub. ref. #459
[publisher information trimmed from this margin on this print]
 Carver
 彫銀 
Hori Gin seal of Asai Ginjirō (1844-1894) [carver's seal trimmed from left margin on this print]
 Impression  good
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - album backing paper; soiling; left margin trimmed to within 1/8" of image
 Genre  ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous
 Format  vertical oban 
 H x W Paper 
 14 11/16 x 10 in. (37.3 x 25.4 cm)
 H x W Image
 14 1/4 x 9 5/8 in. (36.2 x 24.4 cm)
 Literature 
 Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, p. 61-62.
 Collections This Print
 Digital Collections Keio University Libraries; Tokyo Metropolitan Library AcNo. 0797-023-35
last revision:
10/22/2019 created
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