Kunisada (Toyokuni III)

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)


A Pictorial Commentary on One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets: no. 69, Priest Noin
(Hyakunin isshu esho: Noin-hoshi)

signed Kochoro Toyokuni ga with red Toshidamaseal, censor's seals Yoshimura and Muramatsu, followed by the publisher's seal Sanoki (Sanoya Kihei of Kikaudo), ca. 1847

oban tate-e 14 1/4 by 9 7/8 in., 36.1 by 25.2 cm

An elegant standing beauty holding a folded fan along with a netsuke and inro- the accoutrements of a gentleman, drapes a section of puple fabric over her outstretched arm.

After issuing the 37th design in this series (except no. 47) of 100 poet prints, Kunisada changed the framework of the compositions by eliminating the series title and replacing the poem cards with a cartouche in the shape of an open book illustrating the featured poet and poem. Capitalizing on his recent success as illustrator of the serialized novel by Ryutei Tanehiko, Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji (A Rustic Genji by a Fraudulent Murasaki) which was published from 1829-1842, Kunisada introduced Genji-related motifs to 42 subsequent prints this series and referenced his own designs from the covers of the updated Genji. The composition of this print possibly references the illustration on the fourth double-page inart II of volume 20.

The open book cartouche overlapping a band of genjimon (Genji incense patterns) illustrates a portrait of the Priest Noin (Tachibana no Nagayasu) paired with his poem number 69 from the Hyakunin isshu.

mimuro no yama no
momijhiba ha
tatsuta no kaha no
nishiki narikeri

It's the autumn leaves
of the hills of Mimuro,
where the tempest blow,
that are the woven brocade
floating on the waters of Tatsuta River!

Joshua S. Mostow, The Hundred Poets Compared, 2007, p. 172, no. 69 (poem translation)
Jeff Hopewell, Kunisada 100 Poets Prints Derived from Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji Images, Kunisada.de, 2008
Andreas Marks, Genji's World in Japanese Woodblock Prints, 2021, pp. 14-15
(inv. no. 10-5246)

price: $850


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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