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The Tori-no-machi Festival at Senzoku from the series Comic Pictures of Famous Places in the Early Days of Tokyo

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

The Tori-no-machi Festival at Senzoku

from the series 

Comic Pictures of Famous Places in the

Early Days of Tokyo

by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1881

Children Blowing up the Belly of Hotei and Painting It Like a Candy from the series Sketches by Yoshitoshi
IHL Cat. #312

About This Print

One of forty prints from the series Crazy Pictures of Famous Places in Tōkyō (Tōkyō kaika kyōga meishō) picturing "Tori no machi" (Bird Day) festivities in the Senzuko area of Tokyo, where one gives thanks for a safe year and prays for happiness in the next.  The reveler in the back is holding a lucky kumade (bamboo rake) which is believed to rake in good luck.

The prints were originally issued as a pair of chūban size prints on an ōban size sheet as shown left.

About This Comic Series

Yoshitoshi's comic series titled Crazy Pictures of Famous Places in Tōkyō was published in 1881. These satirical images parodied life in modern Tokyo with scenes ranging from an octopus refusing to be sold at a fish market to physical mishaps on the street to encounters with ghosts and monsters.

Source: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco website http://www.aamdocents.org/AAM/Special/07_05Yoshitoshi/2-33OctopusFightsBack.htm
Yoshitoshi designed for his urban audience many prints that parodied modern life in Tokyo, including several half-size series. Some have a moral message, and most are satirical or amusing, often with a hard edge to the humor. The title of this series parodies Hiroshige’s several sets of Famous Places in the Eastern Capital. Yoshitoshi signed these pictures “crazy pictures by Yoshitoshi.”

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #312
 TitleThe Tori-no-machi Festival at Senzoku
千束酉の町 大きな唐の芋頭をかつぐ Senzoku torinomachi ōkina tō no imo gashira o katsugu
 Series Tōkyō kaika kyōga meishō (東京開化狂画名所) -translated as "Comic Pictures of Famous Places Amid the Civilization of Tōkyō" or "Crazy Pictures of Famous Places in Tōkyō" or "Crazy Pictures of Famous Places in Tōkyō" 
 Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
 芳年戯画 Yoshitoshi giga (playfully drawn by Yoshitoshi)
 Seal none
 Date 1881 January
 Publisher  Tsunajima Kamekichi 綱島亀吉 (family name of the publisher Tsujiokaya Kemekichi) [Marks: pub. ref. #549] Publisher's seal appears on the bottom print of the uncut oban-size sheet. [note: Marks reads the characters 綱島 as "Tsunajima" while others, including the British Museum, read those characters as "Tsunashima".]
 Impression good
 Colors excellent
 Condition fair - vertical center fold almost splitting paper, wrinkling and soiling
 Genre ukiyo-e; giga (comic print)
 Format horizontal chūban (issued in pairs on ōban sheets)
 H x W Paper 6 7/8 x 9 1/8 in. (17.3 x 23.2 cm)
 H x W Image
 6 3/8 x 8 1/4 in. (16.2 x 21 cm) not including cartouche in right margin
 Collections This Print Tokyo Digital Museum 87102018; Tokyo Metropolitan Library 5259-10ア(13)
 Reference Literature
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