Original Toshimoto (active circa 1870s - 1890s) Japanese Woodblock Print
The Priest Ikyu and Jigoku Dayu, the Hell Courtesan
Series; Around the Globe: Mirror of Thunderous Names
The Priest Ikyu and Jigoku Dayu, the Hell Courtesan - Fantastic scene depicting an encounter between the courtesan Jigoku Dayu, whose name literally means "Lady of Hell," and the Priest Ikkyu. He walked about each New Year holding a staff with a skull attached to remind revelers of the inevitability of death. He enlightened the young courtesan as to the evils of her profession, and she became a convert to religious life. Here, the priest sits on the floor holding a fly whisk, grinning as he looks up. The beauty wears a striking black outer kimono patterned with a depiction of Hell, complete with Emma-o, the lord of the underworld, a bubbling cauldron, red flames, and red and green demons carrying clubs. In intricately patterned folding screen provides a backdrop for the pair. Beautifully detailed with burnishing on both black kimono and bokashi shading in the background an title cartouche. A rarely seen artist and the first time we've come across this design.
Artist - Toshimoto (active circa 1870s - 1890s)
Image Size - 13 1/4" x 8 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Horizontal centerfold, fold at corner. A few holes and thinning spots, repaired. Creasing and wrinkling, slight soiling, paper remnant and slight rubbing at left edge. Please see photos for details.