Narita Morikane

dates unknown

Twenty-Four Figures of Charming Women: Reading (suggested title)
(Adesugata Nijushiko: Yomimomo)

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

dai oban tate-e 17 by 11 1/4 in., 43.1 by 28.5 cm

A beauty wearing a dark blue haori over a lavender and light green striped kimono with a black collar, her azure-blue under-robe is visible at her neck. She sits and reads an ehon (illustrated book) propped open on her knees; her legs slightly open, the kimono separating to reveal her red under-robe and the back of her upper thigh.

Considering the erotic tone of this series, which was produced at a time when the Japanese authorities were particularly concerned with this sort of genre, it is remarkable that Shinbisha undertook its production. Arguably in a climate of restriction, that which is forbidden is all the more desirable. Perhaps also Narita Morikane is a pseudonym for a known artist, in the same way that earlier ukiyo-e artists produced shunga (lit. ‘spring pictures’- explicitly erotic prints) under their ‘shunga’ signatures.

Amy Reigle Newland and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th Century Prints of Japanese Beauties, 2000, p. 151, no. 207

price: Sold


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