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    Sale 7432

    Japanese Prints, including The B.W. Robinson Collection

    7 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 582

    Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)

    Price Realised  


    Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)
    Takezawa Toji at the Inari shrine with his spinning tops floating in the air creating magical visions of the head of Kasane, the ghost of Oiwa appearing from the well and Okiku, signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi, published by Gusokoya Kahei of Ningyocho, censor's seal Muramatsu, and ten other designs depicting the art of spinning tops, generally good impressions and colours, varying condition
    Oban yoko-e and oban tate-e (11)

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    The Buko nenpyo [The History of Edo] by Saito Gesshin published in eight volumes in 1850 refers to the entertainer Takezawa Toji (or Fujiharu) who gave exhibitions at Ryogoku in the early summer of 1844 using spinning tops, sleight of hand and clockwork mechanisms which drew immense crowds. At the same time in the kabuki theatre, ghosts and spirits were produced by mechanical means in plays such as Tenjiku Tokubei banri no irifune (7/1841) and Ehon Jiraiya setsuwa (5/1844) and Onoe Baiju ichidai-banashi (7/1847) where some of Takezawa's devices may have been used.

    For another impression of the Inari shrine design see Juzo Suzuki, Utagawa Kuniyoshi Exhibition Catalogue (Tokyo, 1996), no.295

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