Home‎ > ‎Artists‎ > ‎

Sekisai Kuniyasu (active 1880–1890s)

Prints in Collection
 
Biographical Data

Biography

Sekisai Kuniyasu 石斎国保 (active 1880–1890s)
Sources: Wikipedia Japan https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%AD%8C%E5%B7%9D%E5%9B%BD%E4%BF%9DChats held on the Ukiyo-e Q&A, December 10, 2010 and as noted below.

There is some uncertainty about the identity of this artist.  While sometimes referred to as Utagawa Kuniyasu 
歌川国保 it is not the printmaker Utagawa Kuniyasu 歌川国安 who lived from 1794 to 1832 - note the different spelling of the name in Japanese.  This collection's Kuniyasu who was active during the 1880s-1890s was also known as Sekisai Kuniyasu 石斎国保 and used the artist names Seo 瀬尾 and Haruaki 治明.

The Japan Wikipedia entry tell us: [thank you to Art Historian Lynn Katsumoto]
師系不明。本姓は瀬尾、名は文治郎。歌川の画姓を称し石斎と号す。初名は治明という。作画期は明治20年代頃で、深川区西森下町一丁目七番地に住む。

Unknown who his teacher was. Family name was Seo, given name Fumijirō [written 文治郎 rather than 攵ニ郎 appearing in the publisher's cartouche on this collection's print]. He took the name of the Utagawa artist lineage and the name Sekisai. It is said that his name when starting out was 治明 (Haruaki). He produced work during the Meiji 20s (late 1880s to late 1890s), and lived at Fukagawa-ku Nishimori Shitamachi Itchōme (1 chōme) Nana banchi (7 banchi)*. 
* [in the cartouche on this collection's print the street number is clearly “47”]

Works attributed to Sekisai Kuniyasu can be found in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (3 works); the British Museum (1 work) and the Shizuoka Library (1 work1.)  There is a notation for one of the prints attributed to Sekisai Kuniyasu in the MFA, Boston collection that the "conceiver of the design" was a
Seo Bunjirō 瀬尾文治郎 and the commercial gallery site Mizui Hanga credits this collection's print Illustration of Horse Racing at Shinobazu Ueno, (which they are offering for sale) to 瀬尾文五郎 (Seo Bunjirō) - one reading),  (Reference http://www.mizui-hanga.com/2010-12/g_no8.html).  To further confuse the issue, Barry Till, Asian Curator for the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, credits this collection's print Illustration of Horse Racing at Shinobazu Ueno to Chikanobu.  (See IHL Cat. #473 for further information on this attribution.) 

I have not come across any details on the life of this furtive artist.  

1 The work in the collection of the Shizuoka Library is the same work as one of the three in the MFA, Boston collection.

Signatures of Work Attributed to Sekisai Kuniyasu

Signed: Haruaki (治明)
early name of Sekisai Kuniyasu
Signature on Illustration of Horse Racing at Shinobazu Ueno, 1895
IHL Cat. #473


Signed: Sekisai Kuniyasu ga
Signatures on the print Celebration Banquet at the New Imperial Palace, 1887 held by the MFA, Boston and Shizuoka Library
 
Signed: Sekisai Kuniyasu ga
Artist Seal: Sekisai
Signature on the print Military Review for Noble Dignitaries
, 1892 held by the MFA, Boston
 
Signed: Sekisai Kuniyasu ga
Artist Seal: Sekisai
Signature on the print
The Emperor Reviewing the Troops s, 1887 held by the MFA, Boston
 
Signed: Sekisai Kuniyasu ga
Signature on the print Mirror of High Officials of the Empire held by the British Museum

last revision:
3/7/2020