Chiyoda Inner Palace - First published from 1894 - 1897, Chikanobu's "Chiyoda Inner Palace" (Chiyoda no Ooku) series depicts the lives of women in Edo Castle prior to the Meiji Restoration, when it was home to the shogun and his court. Edo Castle was also known as Chiyoda Castle, and the series includes 40 triptychs. The Inner Palace area housed the shogun's wife and unmarried daughters, his male heir, and many ladies-in-waiting and servants. These lovely triptychs illustrate seasonal activities both inside and outside of the women's private quarters, and a variety of ceremonies, rituals, and pastimes. The beauties are elegantly attired as they go about their daily lives, with wonderful attention and detail given to their sumptuous kimono and obi fabrics. Many designs include deluxe printing techniques such as burnishing, embossing, and mica or metallic pigment. Chikanobu's lovely "Chiyoda Inner Palace" series beautifully captures the world of upper-class women in mid-nineteenth century Japan.
First Horse Day - Wonderful triptych of actors gathering outside a main hall before a special performance of the New Year on the "First Horse" day of the second month. A falcon perches on the arm of the young man at left, while the beauty next to him is dressed as the Wisteria Maiden. At right, Benkei carries a bell and wears a monk's costume, while the red-faced demon in front of him has been vanquished by Aotake Goro, the character carrying a giant arrow. This image appears on page 173 of Bruce A. Coats's book "Chikanobu: Images of Modernity and Nostalgia." A fascinating scene, beautifully detailed with burnishing on the black kimono, the beauty's hat and her black obi.
Artist - Chikanobu (1838 - 1912)
Image Size - 14" x 27 1/2"
Condition - This print with good color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. A couple creases at edges, a few stains. Please see photos for details.
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