A Pair of Socks (suggested title)
seated beauty with purple kimono decorated with chidori (plovers); signed Morikane with artist's seal Morikane, published by Shinbisha, ca. 1931
dai oban tate-e 16 1/4 by 11 1/8 in., 41.3 by 28.4 cm
The biographical details of Narita Morikane are unknown. This collaborative series, with designs by Morikane and Ohira Kasen (1900-1983), may never have been completed. The innocuous title, Twenty-four Figures of Charming Women, refers to the classical Confucian theme, Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety (Nijushiko), but belies this series of rather risqué designs. As all twenty-four designs have not been recorded (yet), it is possible that the publisher, Shinbisha, was forced to stop production due to pressure from the government which was becoming more nationalistic and conservative in the 1930s.
Published (this impression):
Reigle Newland, Amy, and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th century prints of Japanese beauties, 2000, no. 206
Koyama Shuko, Beautiful Shin Hanga- Revitalization of Ukiyo-e, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum, 2009, p. 145, no. 3-65
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