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.
Crane Hunt, 1897 - Incredible scene of a falcon bringing down a crane as a group of nobleman watch the hunt from a blind at right. The shogun's crane hunt took place almost every winter, but only one or two birds were taken each year as a ceremonial gift for the emperor. In the center, a retainer grabs the crane by the neck as the falcon perches on its leg. Three men run up from the right with alarmed expressions, waving their hands. A nobleman sits on a folding stool at the entrance to the blind, which is covered with shocks of straw over bamboo frame. Mt. Fuji rises in the distance above misty clouds, which hang low over the marshy valley. A fascinating subject with beautiful fine line work, including delicate embossing in the crane's feathers. A terrific print.
Artist - Chikanobu (1838 - 1912)
Image Size - 14 3/8" x 28 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Slight toning. Please see photos for details.
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