Kobayashi Kiyochika, Fireworks at Ryogoku

Kobayashi Kiyochika, 1847-1915

Fireworks at Ryogoku
(Ryogoku Hanabi no Zu)

the title along the bottom margin, Ryogoku Hanabi no Zu, dated on the right margin, Meiji jusannen (Meiji 13 [1880]), followed by publisher name and address of Fukuda Kumajiro (Gusokuya), ca. 1880

oban yoko-e 9 3/4 by 14 1/2 in., 24.9 by 36.7 cm

A burst of fireworks in the sky over the distant Ryogoku Bridge darkens the pleasure boats and the spectators in the foreground. The small covered boat on the left is a yanebune ('roof boat') which holds just a few viewers; to the right is a longer uncovered skiff which accommodates a larger group; and beyond that we see an array of red lanterns strung along the roof of a yakatabune ('palace boat') identifying it as the Asahi-maru.

References:
Tokichi Sakai, Kiyochika, The Japan Association for the Preservation of Ukiyo-e, translation by N.S. Gankow, 1969, pl. 39
Henry D. Smith III, Kiyochika: Artist of Meiji Japan, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1988, p. 41, no. 35
Exhibition of Kobayashi Kiyochika, Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, 1998, p. 40, no. 38 Kobayashi Kiyochika: A Retrospective, Hanga Museum, 2016, p. 63, nos. 86 & 87

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