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.
Martial Arts Inspection, 1897 - Fantastic Chikanobu triptych depicting an elite group of warriors practicing kendo or swordsmanship in a demonstration of martial arts. The Shogun watches soberly from the platform at left as the men, partially clad in armor and wearing face guards, clash wooden practice swords. Other samurai wait their turn at right, one pulling on a heavy glove. A terrific image with wonderfully detailed figures and a beautiful folding screen behind the viewers depicting a pine tree and waves. A rarely seen image from this popular series depicting palace life.
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.