Kunisada (Toyokuni III)

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)


A Pictorial Commentary on One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets: no. 13, Yozei-in
(Hyakunin isshu esho: Yozei-in)

signed Kunisada aratame Nidaime Ichiyoshai Toyokuni ga (Kunisada changing his name to 'the second of the name'' Toyokuni) with his Toshidama seal, censor's seal Mura (Murata Sahei), followed by the publisher's seal Sanoki (Sanoya Kihei of Taihodo), ca. 1844

oban tate-e 14 1/4 by 10 in., 36.2 by 25.5 cm

A young beauty tucks a battledore paddle into the crook of her left arm while she carefully straightens the feathers of a shuttlecock. The long sleeves of her furisode (lit. 'swinging sleeves') of her kimono and the red bows of fabric in her hair indicate that she is in her early teens.

A poem by the retired Emperor Yozei-in (or Yosei-in) is presented as the front and back of the poem card:

upper card (front):
Tsukuba-ne no
mine yori otsuru
mina no kaha

lower card (back):
kohi zo tsumorite
fuchi to narinuru

Like the Mina River
that falls from the peak
of Mount Tsukuba,
so my longing has collected
and turned into deep pools

Joshua S. Mostow, The Hundred Poets Compared, 2007, p. 60, no. 13 (poem translation)
William Sturgis Bigelow Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession no. 11.42925
(inv. no. 10-5242)

price: $750


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(212) 585-0474 or email
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site last updated
May 25, 2023

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