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Imperial Prosperity: Ceremony in the Eastern Capital

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Imperial Prosperity: Ceremony in the Eastern Capital

by Watanabe Nobukazu, 1900

Picture of Noble's Imperial Ceremony

IHL Cat. #222

About This Print

Issued in the year of Crown Prince Yoshihito's wedding, this print was one of many (also see Picture of Noble's Imperial Ceremony and  Picture of Wedding Ceremony of Noble Couple) to portray the ceremonies surrounding his marriage to sixteen year old Kujō Sadako on May 10, 1900.  The Crown Prince with his mustache and full military uniform is seen sitting [left panel] while a lady, perhaps his bride-to-be, in Western-fashion is being presented to him.  Whether this print depicts an actual event at the imperial court or was designed to promulgate the modernity of the imperial family, it is one of many prints that featured the Imperial family, with the men in military attire and the women dressed in Western fashion.  Prints such as this served to show that the emperor's regime was in the forefront of the modern world; that Japan was "advancing toward Civilization" and becoming "richer in all things..."Also see the article Prints of the Emperor Meiji and Empress Haruko.

From the time of the decision of the prince's marriage on August 21, 1899 to the marriage ceremony itself on May 10, 1900 , a series of newly fabricated events, including the marriage ceremony itself, had been instituted by the newly formed Imperial Institutions Investigatory Bureau (teishitsu seido chōsa kyoku), which was tasked with studying European monarchy practices in order to "create a modern monarchy that they believed would represent a level of civility equal to that of the West..."2

1 Splendid Monarchy: Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan, T. Fujitani, University of California Press, 1998, p. 107.
2 Ibid., p. 118.

PowerPoint Presentation Notes from 1-31-2017 Presentation

                      Imperial Prosperity: Ceremony in the Eastern Capital, 1900

Issued in the year of Crown Prince Yoshihito's wedding, this print was one of many to portray the ceremonies surrounding his marriage to sixteen year old Kujō Sadako on May 10, 1900. From the time the decision of the prince's marriage was made on August 21, 1899 to the marriage ceremony itself on May 10, 1900 , a series of newly fabricated events, including the marriage ceremony itself, had been instituted by the newly formed Imperial Institutions Investigatory Bureau, which was tasked with studying European monarchy practices in order to "create a modern monarchy that… would represent a level of civility equal to that of the West...“

Splendid Monarchy: Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan, T. Fujitani, University of California Press, 1998, p. 118.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #222
 Title or Description Imperial Prosperity: Ceremony in the Eastern Capital [also seen translated as Prosperity in the Imperial Reign and Eastern Elegance and Prosperity of the World and Fashion of the East]
御世の栄東の粧ひ Miyo no sakae azuma no yosooi
 Artist  Watanabe Nobukazu (1872-1944)
 Signature
応需 楊斎 ōju Yōsai
 Seal  none
 Publication Date  1900
 Publisher
Tsutsumi Kichibei 堤吉兵衛 [Marks: pub. ref. 194; similar to seal 26-134]
from right to left:
明治三十三年 月 日印刷
[Meiji 33 month day printed]
仝年 月 日 発行
[Meiji 33 month day published]
日本橋区吉川町五バンチ
[Nihonbashi Yoshikawachō 5-banchi]
画作印刷 兼発行者
[printing and publishing]
堤吉兵衛
[Tsutsumi Kichibei]
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition good - full size separate sheets, unbacked, minor wrinkling on right panel; minor damage repair verso
 Genre  ukiyo-e; kaika-e
 Miscellaneous   Picturing the Emperor Meiji seated on the left and the empress center panel
 Format  vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper
 14 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (36.8 x 24.8 cm) each panel
 Literature

 Collections This Print
 The Metropolitan Museum of Art JP3278

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