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Narita Morikane

dates unknown

Twenty-Four Figures of Charming Women: Paper Lantern (suggested title)
(Adesugata Nijushiko: Chochin)

the red cartouche at the upper right corner with the series title, Adesugata nijûshiko; signed beneath, Morikane, with artist's red seal Morikane; publisher’s mark Yama-se, and seal at lower left corner, Hanken shoyû fukyo fukusei, Shinbisha (copyright ownership, reproduction not allowed, Shinbisha), ca. 1931

dai oban tate-e 16 1/2 by 11 1/8 in., 42 by 28.2 cm

A kneeling beauty emerges from behind a green curtain (likely a mosquito net) beside a paper lantern, the shade decorated with blue kikyo (Chinese bellflowers, also known as balloon or lantern flowers). She wears a kimono decorated with a scattering of pairs of intersecting white circles on a ground of wide turquoise and teal stripes, and a yellow and black striped obi. Her garment falls open at her legs, allowing a glimpse of her red under-robe and a revealing display of her upper thigh.

The biographical details of Narita Morikane are unknown. He and Ohira Kasen (1900-1983) contributed to this collaborative series, which was published by Shinbisha ca. 1931. The innocuous title, Twenty-four Figures of Charming Women, refers to the classical Confucian theme, Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety (Nijûshikô), but belies this series of rather risqué designs. All of the recorded designs from the series illustrate either nudes, or if the women are clothed, their garments are strategically falling open.

Amy Reigle Newland, and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th Century Prints of Japanese Beauties, 2000, p. 150, no. 205

price: Sold


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site last updated
August 22, 2019

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
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