An Array of Auspicious Customs of Eastern Japan: Western Clothing
(Azuma fuzoku fukuzukushi: Yofuku)
signed Yoshu Chikanobu hitsu at lower right, with publisher's seal of Takekawa Unokichi dated Meiji nijunen (Meiji 22 )
oban tate-e 14 3/4 by 10 in., 37.5 by 25.3 cm
This series presents a collection images based on words that sound like the word fuku, which has several meanings, including 'auspicious.' In this case, the kanji for fuku means clothing, and the print illustrates two beauties and young girl modeling elaborate au courant French fashions in fearless layers of patterns and contrasting colors. The trio are arranged beside a table set with a tea service on a carpeted verandah framed by tasseled drapes with a view out into a formal garden with blossoming cherry trees and a Western-style decorative water feature at the center of a pond. The girl holds the lead to a small white long-haired dog of a foreign breed. Aside from the figures themselves, one is hard-pressed to find any element of this composition which is not either imported from or influenced by Western culture.
Bruce A. Coats, Chikanobu: Modernity and Nostalgia in Japanese Prints, Scripps College, 2006, p. 141, pl. 161
Yoshu Chikanobu Memorial Exhibition, Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation, 2012, p. 37, no. 37 (and detail on back cover)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession no. JP3201
(inv. no. 10-5405)
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