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.
Dog Hunting - Intriguing scene depicting riders practicing archery on horseback by shooting at dogs with special padded arrows. The extreme length of the bow used meant that it was difficult to shift the bow across the horse, so samurai practiced leading their horses to get their victims on the left side, where the bow was held. In the technique called "inuomono," archers practiced positioning their horses to get a clear shot at the dogs. The padded arrows did not kill the dogs. Here, the warrior in the center has just fired an arrow, the dog howling in surprise as he hits his mark. Another warrior gallops around the ring at left, ready to fire, followed by a pack of riders. An observer watches from horseback in the center, waiting in a large circle enclosed with straw rope and tinted with four colors. A lively scene detailed with touches of burnishing, and a rarely seen subject from this series.
Artist - Chikanobu (1838 - 1912)
Image Size - 14" x 27 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Paper remnants on reverse from previous mounting. Thinning and small losses at edges, slight separation along vertical fold in center panel, thinning spot, repaired. Wrinkling, slight toning and soiling, stain. Please see photos for details.
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