Scene from Kuruwa Bunsho, 1850

by Hirosada (active circa 1847 - 1863)

Current Status

Scene from Kuruwa Bunsho, 1850 by Hirosada (active circa 1847 - 1863)

Original Hirosada (active circa 1847 - 1863) Japanese Woodblock Print
Scene from Kuruwa Bunsho, 1850

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.

Scene from Kuruwa Bunsho, 1850 - Handsome kabuki triptych from the play "Kuruwa Bunsho." Disinherited by his family because of his love for the courtesan Yugiri of the Yoshidaya Teahouse, Fujiya Izaemon wanders the streets aimlessly, hoping for a reunion with his lover. He surprises her with a visit to the teahouse, tormenting himself with the thought that she might be entertaining other patrons. At left, a messenger arrives with the news that that Izaemon's mother will support him and ransom Yugiri so the pair can be together. The room overlooks a garden filled with budding plum trees. Beautifully detailed with embossing on the white kimono trim, ad metallic pigment that has oxidized to a dark tone on the two kimono at left and center and the obi at right.

Artist - Hirosada (active circa 1847 - 1863)

Image Size - 9 3/4" x 20 5/8"

Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Three attached panels, backed with paper. Slight separation at ends of vertical folds between panels, repaired. Slight toning and soiling, a few creases and stains, paper slightly curled. Please see photos for details.

Scene from Kuruwa Bunsho, 1850 by Hirosada (active circa 1847 - 1863)
Scene from Kuruwa Bunsho, 1850 by Hirosada (active circa 1847 - 1863)

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