Original Kiyochika (1847 - 1915) Japanese Woodblock Print
Series: Foundations of Morality and Success
Kyodo Risshi no Motoi
Foundations of Morality and Success - Many artists created designs for this long-running newspaper series depicting both contemporary and historical heroes and heroines. These exemplary individuals were thought to embody values to both inspire and encourage readers. The series was published by Heikichi Matsuki of the Daikokuya publishing firm, a company established in 1763 and known for its high quality woodblock designs. Daikokuya commissioned leading artists of the day, such as Yoshitoshi, Toshikata, Kiyochika, and Kunichika, to create these wonderful designs. Beautifully detailed with fine line work and soft shading, these great Meiji era prints were singled out for recognition by the Japanese government when the series was completed in 1890 for encompassing such uplifting and noble subjects. First edition prints feature a patterned border in a variety of colors, while the 1902 edition has plain paper borders. A fascinating series and a great choice for a collector interested in life in late 19th century Japan.
Kesa Gozen - Dramatic depiction of the samurai Endo Musha Morito preparing to attack who he believes is the husband of his beloved, the beautiful Kesa Gozen. Endo became obsessed with Kesa Gozen, a happily married woman who rejected his advances. Afraid that Endo might harm her husband, she convinced him to murder her husband one night in their bedroom. She then cut off her hair and took her husband's place in the dark room, and Endo murdered her by mistake. Here, he straddles the bed, gripping his sword with both hands as he prepares to strike. Kesa Gozen clasps her hands in prayer, biting on a handkerchief to stifle her cries, her knees decorously tied together with a sash to prevent an indecent posture after her impending death. Fantastic expressive figures and wonderful detail in the interior setting and furnishings. An intriguing depiction of famous tale.
Artist - Kiyochika (1847 - 1915)
Image Size - 14 1/2" x 9 7/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Please see photos for details. Good overall.