Narita Scholten Japanese Art | Woodblock Prints | Narita Morikane Reading (suggested title)
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Narita Morikane

dates unknown

Reading (suggested title)

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: $ 1,400 (reserved)


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site last updated
February 18, 2019

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475