Princess Yuki Freed by Mice

by Sadanobu II (1848 - 1940)

Current Status

Princess Yuki Freed by Mice by Sadanobu II (1848 - 1940)

Original Sadanobu II (1848 - 1940) Japanese Woodblock Print
Princess Yuki Freed by Mice

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. 

Comments - Great kabuki portrait of Princess Yuki, who had been held captive and tied to a cherry tree in the gardens of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. She drew a mouse in the soft dirt with her toe, and it came to life and multiplied, chewing through the ropes and freeing her. Here, she watches with a somewhat frightened expression as a mouse scampers up the rope over her shoulder, another peering around the collar of her red kimono at right. A shower of pink petals falls through the sky, the scene framed by pink blossoms, a rope around the trunk at left. An inset above features maples leaves and a waterfall alongside calligraphy. A terrific image from this famous story, detailed with lacquer on the black obi, metallic pigment that has oxidized to a darker tone on the floral hair ornament, and delicate cloth embossing on the background of the inset.

Artist - Sadanobu II (1848 - 1940)

Image Size - 14 1/8" x 9 3/8" + margins as shown

Condition - Nice color and detail. A few creases at edges and small repairs, diagonal fold across center.

Princess Yuki Freed by Mice by Sadanobu II (1848 - 1940)
Princess Yuki Freed by Mice by Sadanobu II (1848 - 1940)

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