Scene from Kagamiyama kokyo no nishiki-e, 1829

by Ashiyuki (active circa 1813 - 1831)

Current Status

Scene from Kagamiyama kokyo no nishiki-e, 1829 by Ashiyuki (active circa 1813 - 1831)

Original Ashiyuki (active circa 1813 - 1831) Japanese Woodblock Print
Scene from Kagamiyama kokyo no nishiki-e, 1829

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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.

Oban Osaka Kabuki Prints - Most Osaka kabuki prints were done in the smaller chuban size, so full oban format kamigata-e are rarely seen.
These larger Osaka kabuki woodblocks are a great choice for a collector. 

Scene from Kagamiyama kokyo no nishiki-e, 1829 - Fantastic scene from the play "Kagamiyama kokyo no nishiki-e" at the Naka Theater. Here, the loyal maidservant Ohatsu in the center and the evil Iwafuji practice bojutsu or staff technique, fighting with a stick called a bo, as Ohatsu's mistress Onoe watches at left. Ohatsu kneels on the ground, using her stick to knock the weapon loose from Iwafuji's hand. Iwafuji grimaces angrily at the blow, glaring at Onoe across the room. Onoe wears a beautiful outer robe patterned with maple leaves, flowers, and tied-dyed fans over a pink kimono with yellow currents of water and cherry blossoms. From left, the actors are Ichikawa Danzo V, Arashi Rikan II, and Bando Jutaro I. A terrific design with expressive figures and lovely detail in the elegant fabrics. A rare oban Osaka triptych.

Artist - Ashiyuki (active circa 1813 - 1831)

Image Size - 14 1/4" x 29 3/4" + margin as shown

Condition - Nice detail and good color. Horizontal centerfold, a few small repairs.

Scene from Kagamiyama kokyo no nishiki-e, 1829 by Ashiyuki (active circa 1813 - 1831)
Scene from Kagamiyama kokyo no nishiki-e, 1829 by Ashiyuki (active circa 1813 - 1831)

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