Chiyoda Outer Palace - Following his successful "Chiyoda Inner Palace" series, Chikanobu designed a second triptych series first published in 1897 illustrating the "Chiyoda Outer Palace" (Chiyoda no on-omote), the domain of the shogun and his retainers at Edo Castle, also known as Chiyoda Castle. The men are depicted taking part in sporting and hunting activities, martial arts, annual ceremonies, and traditional rituals. The Outer Palace series was smaller than the Inner Palace series, with 32 triptychs instead of 40, and these designs are seen much less often. Chikanobu's characteristic attention to detail highlights the clothing and accessories worn by the samurai, as well as the indoor and outdoor settings. Many designs include deluxe printing techniques such and embossing and burnishing. The handsome "Chiyoda Outer Palace" series provides a wonderful look at life inside the Shogun's castle prior to the Meiji Restoration.
First Chanting of Noh at the New Year, 1897 - Intriguing scene of samurai gathering in a large room at the palace on the evening of the third day of the New Year to hear the year's first chanting of Noh theater. The text notes that scenes were performed from "Oimatsu," "Takasago," and other plays. Different schools of Noh would take turns annually to present the chants. The inset at upper left shows the performers gracefully dancing and waving fans. The shogun sits on a platform at right, while below, an attendant tosses vests emblazoned with the daimyo's mark to the men in waiting. Several of the samurai wave their hands in the air, eagerly reaching for the new clothing, while others put on the vests they have caught. A fascinating subject with wonderful detail in the textile patterns, and burnishing on the black lacquer frame of the screen at right.
Artist - Chikanobu (1838 - 1912)
Image Size - 14" x 28"
Condition - This print with nice color and detail as shown. Three separate panels, backed with paper. Some prints have a few spots or marks. Please see photos for details. Generally in nice condition overall.