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.
Ladies Practicing Martial Arts, 1896 - Fantastic triptych of the ladies of Chiyoda Palace practicing martial arts using wooden weapons, their kimono sleeves tied up out of the way. The ladies were responsible for the defense of the inner palace itself, so they were expected to be proficient in handling weapons. Two beauties practice with a sword and a naginata, a long curved blade on the end of a pole, while the other ladies look on. A fascinating woodblock with fine embossed detail on the white kimono trim.
Artist - Chikanobu (1838 - 1912)
Image Size - 14" x 28 1/8"
Condition - This print with good color and detail as shown. Three separate panels, backed with paper. Light vertical line where backing papers meet. A few light creases at edges and small spots. Please see photos for details.
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