The Maid Okiku

by Yoshitaki (1841 - 1899)

Current Status

The Maid Okiku by Yoshitaki (1841 - 1899)

Original Yoshitaki (1841 - 1899) Japanese Woodblock Print
The Maid Okiku

A Fuji Arts Special Offer Auction

Osaka Prints - Produced in the Kansai region, including Osaka and Kyoto, Osaka prints or kamigata-e are instantly distinguishable from typical Edo ukiyo-e. A major difference is the choice of subject matter. Osaka prints were nearly always portraits of actors or kabuki scenes. In contrast, Edo print subjects included beauties, landscapes, nature scenes, warriors, and historic events, in addition to kabuki.

Distinctly different artistic styles also emerged in Edo and Osaka in the 18th and 19th century, resulting in certain recognizable characteristics for each area. Osaka prints feature more subtle, serious figures, reflecting the wagoto or soft style of acting prevalent in the area, along with distinctive facial expressions. The aragato or brash manner of acting popular in Edo influenced print designs towards bolder images of heroism and military prowess.

Much like the style of the prints, the demand for ukiyo-e in the cities of Osaka and Edo also varied. Osaka produced far fewer ukiyo-e designs than Edo did. As a consequence, Osaka prints are rarer and also some of the highest quality prints made in the 19th century, with many featuring deluxe techniques such as burnishing or embossing. Osaka prints are a rare and wonderful collecting area of Japanese woodblocks.

Special detail - A scene from a play based on a ghost story commonly known as "The Dish Mansion." The evil samurai Asayama Tetsuzan falsely accused the maid Okiku of losing one dish from a valuable ten-piece set. He offered to forgive the missing dish if she would accept his advances, but she refused. He then ordered his servant Iwabuchi Chuta to torture her, repeatedly dropping her into a well to get her to agree to his demands, but she still refused. The pair eventually kills her. After committing the murder, the ghost of Okiku returns to haunt them, endlessly counting the dishes and bursting into a wail each time she reaches the count of ten.

Artist - Yoshitaki (1841 - 1899)

Image Size - 9 3/4" x 6 7/8" + margins as shown

Condition - Good detail. Small repair, creasing at side.

The Maid Okiku by Yoshitaki (1841 - 1899)
The Maid Okiku by Yoshitaki (1841 - 1899)

Auction Rules and guidelines

This Auction Falls Under Our Standard Auction Rules and Guidelines

If you are a new bidder, please read the Rules and Guidelines page before bidding.