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Rough Tales of the Floating World told on Eastern Brocades: Sekiguchi Yatarō, Araki Mataemon, Kimura Matazō, Musashibō Benkei

Sanjō Sanetomi from the series Instructive Models of Lofty Ambition
 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Rough Tales of the Floating World told on

Eastern Brocades: Sekiguchi Yatarō, Araki Mataemon Yoshimura, Kimura Matazō, Musashibō Benkei

by Mizuno Toshikata, c. 1883/1890

New Year Charm in the Shape of a Love Letter: Woman of the Genroku Era from the series Thirty-six Elegant Selections


IHL Cat. #1981

About This Print


Four small prints depicting four heroic and fierce figures from Japanese history printed on a single ōban-size sheet, intended to be cut apart.  Toshikata's four small prints model his teacher's, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), earlier full ōban-size designs published as part of a 50 print series bearing the same title Azuma nishiki ukiyo kōdan ("Rough Tales of the Floating World told on Eastern Brocades") as these four small prints.  A visual comparison between Toshikata's renderings of the four figures and Yoshitoshi's original prints is provided below.

The four figures pictured are, as follows:
top left: Sekiguchi Yatarō 関口弥太郎 (1640-1729) staring down a pack of wolves in the Hakone Mountains.
top right: Mataemon Araki Yoshimura 荒木又右エ門吉村 (1599-1638), a master of the art of the sword, with the head Kawai Matagorō at his feet.  
bottom right: Kimura Matazō  木村又藏 (lived c. 1600) holding a yari (straight-headed spear), looking at distant fighting.
bottom left: Musashibō Benkei 武蔵坊辨慶 (1155-1189) pretending to read the contents of an empty scroll to be allowed safe passage through the Ataka barrier.

click on image to enlarge
Comparison of Toshikata's designs, likely published c. 1883/1890 with his teacher Yoshitoshi's designs published between 1866 and 1868.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #1981
 Title or Description  Rough Tales of the Floating World told on Eastern Brocades: Sekiguchi Yatarō, Araki Mataemon Yoshimura, Kimura Matazō, Musashibō Benkei
 東錦浮世稿談 関口弥太郎 荒木又右エ門吉村 木村又藏 武蔵坊辨慶
Note: I have used Robert Schaap's English translation of 東錦浮世稿談 (Azuma nishiki ukiyo kōdan).
Other English translations seen are:
Story of Brocades of the East in the Floating World 
Tales of the Floating World in Eastern Brocade 
Tales of the Floating World on Eastern Brocade
 Series
 Artist  Mizuno Toshikata (1866-1908)
 Signature
年方 画 
Toshikata ga (3 of the 4 signatures)
年方 Toshikata (1 of the 4 signatures)
 Seal of the artist  no seal
 Publication Date  not dated; likely c. 1883/1890
 Publisher  
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - full size; not backed; diagonal folds bottom corners
 Genre  ukiyo-e; musasha-e
 Miscellaneous
 Format  vertical oban
 H x W Paper 
 14 1/2 x 9 5/8 in. (36.8 x 24.4 cm) 
 H x W Image
 13 13/16 x 9 1/4 in. (35.1 x 23.5 cm) dimensions of outside of gray border 
 6 1/4 x 4 1/8 in. (15.9 x 10.5 cm) dimensions of each of the four images within the gray border

 Literature 
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