Utagawa Kuniyoshi Mirror of Women of Wisdom and Courage

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1797-1861

Mirror of Women of Wisdom and Courage:

group of nine prints from a series of ten; five signed Ichiryusai Kuniyoshi ga, and four signed Chooro Kuniyoshi ga, seven with artist's red Yoshi Kiri seal, two with artist's red hat seal, Tanaka censor seal, all with publisher's seal 'Ei' (Takahashiya Takakichi of Bun'eido), ca. 1844

each oban tate-e approximately 14 1/4 by 9 5/8 in., 36.3 by 24.5 cm

A near-complete group of Kuniyoshi's bijin series Mirror of Women of Wisdom and Courage presenting legendary women paired with an associated flower as viewed within a roundel of a circular mirror.

1. Chiyo-jo wearing a striped yukata and paired with morning glories.

2. Chujo-hime holding the ends of a string-game against the background of a waterwheel paired with a lotus blossom.

3. Hanjo Gozen with a bamboo branch over her shoulder paired with cherry blossoms.

4. Kaji of Gion holding a fan paired with Chinese bell flowers (kikyo).

5. Kane-jo of Omi carrying a washing tub paired with fringed carnations.

6. Oiko striking a flint with a pipe in her mouth paired with irises.

7. Ono no Komachi under an umbrella holding a poem on her fan paired with peonies.

8. Tokigawa Gozen in the snow, sheltering her children paired with camellias.

9. Tomoe Gozen, the mistress of Kiso Yoshinaka holding his helmet, single and double flowering yellow mountain roses (yamabuki).

References:
B. W. Robinson, Kuniyoshi, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1961, p. 44-45, appendix table F, no. 92
B. W. Robinson, Kuniyoshi: The Warrior Prints, 1982, pp. 119-120
Amy Reigle Newland, Heroes & Ghosts: Japanese Prints by Kuniyoshi 1797-1861, pp. 119-120, nos. 113 and 114 (Tokiwa Gozen & Gion Kaji)
British Museum, accession nos. 2008, 3037.08501 (Hanjo Gozen), 2008,3037.08502 (Oiko)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Bigelow Collection, accession nos. 11.21221 (Chujo-hime), 11.15968 (Gion Kaji), 11.15969 (Kene-jo), 11.21220 (Tokiwa Gozen)

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site last updated
December 6, 2018

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