Yoshu Chikanobu, 1838-1912
Table of Contents
signed Yoshu Chikanobu with artist's seal Yoshu, publisher's information of Matsuki Heikichi and dated Meiji sanjunen kugatsu ichinichi (Meiji 30 , September 1)
oban tate-e diptych 14 7/8 by 10 in., 37.8 by 25.3 cm
Although the series name, Mirror of the Ages (Jidai kagami), uses the mirror as a metaphor for looking back on previous eras through history (with few actual mirrors found in the prints themselves), Chikanobu references the title quite literally with this table of contents. In the foreground on the right sheet beneath the preface, an ancient Chinese-style bronze mirror of lobed form, with a red silk cord threaded through a loop in the back and tied in a bow, rests at an angle among a scattering of combs and hairpins. It is propped up against a Japanese-style bronze mirror, the back of which is decorated with a flying crane. On the left sheet, the polished reflective side of another Chinese-style lobed mirror peeks out behind the square inset panel with the table of contents. In the foreground is a brocade wallet or pouch, with matching netsuke attached, holding a thick fold of personal tissues.
Bruce A. Coats, Chikanobu: Modernity and Nostalgia in Japanese Prints, 2006, pp. 186-187, plate 213
Tokyo Metropolitan Library, acquisition no. 4704-001, 4704-002
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm for no more than two individuals at a time.
In order to adhere to New York State guidelines visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
site last updated
March 5, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
Join our mailing list...