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Kiku moyō enmei bukuro, numbers 1-3, cover sheets of a three-part supplement to the Yamato Shinbun

Saigō Takamori, No. 17, from the series Personalities of Recent Times

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Kiku moyō enmei bukuro, number 1-3

Cover Sheets of a Three-Part Supplement to the Yamato Shinbun

by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1891

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)

IHL Cat. #2196
IHL Cat. #2197
IHL Cat. #2198

About These Prints

The covers of the three supplements issued in 1891 by the newspaper Yamato Shinbun やまと新聞 containing a transcript of the rakugo, Kikumoyō enmei bukuro (Chrysanthemum Pattern and a Fortune Bag). The transcript was created by Sakai Shōzō (1860-1915), a leading stenographer of oral narrative, of a performance by the rakugo performer (hanashika) Tachibanaya Enkyō IV (1865-1912). The relationship of the cover images to the story is unknown, nor have I been able to find an English language translation of the story.

Yamato Shinbun Supplements
Source: Scholten Japanese Art website https://www.scholten-japanese-art.com/yamato_shinbun_supplements.php

The Meiji Restoration brought with it a major liberalization of journalistic practices. Just as ukiyo-e designs had begun to overtly feature current events following the loosening of restrictions in the late 1860s, the introduction of daily newspapers in 1872 marked a greater expansion of press freedom and provided a much-needed source of commissions for print designers. Taking advantage of a new source of revenue, Yoshitoshi became a frequent contributor to newspapers, starting in 1873 with The Postal Newspaper (Yubin hochi shinbun). He would also contribute to the newspapers Eiri Jiyu and the Jiyu no Tomoshibi before joining the emergent Yamato Shinbun in 1886. The Yamato Shinbun was an upstart daily during a period of innovation in the Japanese newspaper industry. Following its founding in 1886, it gained a readership of 20,000 by 1890,1 often at the expense of more established papers. Yoshitoshi was likely drawn to the Yamato Shinbun in particular through his friendship with the comic rakugo (storyteller) performer Sanyutei Encho (1839-1900), whose humorous stories in the paper were frequently paired with Yoshitoshi's illustrations.

For an example of another type of woodblock print supplement designed by Yoshitoshi see Saigō Takamori, No. 17, from the series Personalities of Recent Times

1 I have modified the original sentence which read "Following its founding in 1886, it gained 20,000 new readers a year, often at the expense of more established papers" for clarity, as the Yamato did not "gain" 20,000 readers a year, its circulation, as reported in Creating a Public: People and Press in Meiji Japan, James. L. Huffman, University of Hawaii Press, 1997, totaled 20,837 in 1890, growing to 28,638 in 1895.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #2196; #2197; #2198
 Title or Description Chrysanthemum Pattern and a Fortune Bag: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3
 Kiku moy enmei bukuro: dai 1-go 菊摸樣延命袋 . 第一号 
第二号 第三号
 Series Supplements to the newspaper Yamato Shinbun
 Yamato Shinbun furoku やまと新聞 付録
 Artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
 Signature Supplement no. 1: not signed, but attributed to Yoshitoshi based upon his signature on the second supplement cover page.
Supplement no. 2 (shown left): Yoshitoshi ga 芳年
 Supplement no. 3: not signed, but attributed to Taiso Yoshitoshi based upon his signature on the second supplement cover page.
 Supplements no. 1 and no. 3: no seal
 Supplement no. 2: 芳年 Yoshitoshi (see above)
 Publication Date Supplement no. 1:  June 17, 1891 [as dated by the National Library of Australia - see complete information below]
 Supplement no. 2: July 1891
 Supplement no. 3: August 1891
 PublisherYamato shinbunsha やまと新聞社 
 Impression Supplement no. 1: good
 Supplement no. 2: excellent
 Supplement no. 3: excellent
 Colors Supplement no. 1: good
 Supplement no. 2: excellent
 Supplement no. 3: excellent
 Condition Supplement no. 1: fair
 Supplement no. 2: good
 Supplement no. 3: good
 Genre ukiyo-e; nishiki-e shinbun
 Format vertical chuban
 H x W Paper 
 Supplement no. 1: 9 3/8 x 6 7/8 in. (23.8 x 17.5 cm) 
 Supplement no. 2: 9 1/2 x 7 in. (24.1 x 17.8 cm)
 Supplement no. 3: 9 7/16 x 6 15/16 in. (24 x 17.6 cm)
 H x W Image
 Collections This Print
 National Library of Australia Bib ID 6107191; Minneapolis Institute of Art 2017.106.187 [supplement no. 2 only]
last update:
5/25/2020 created