Original Chikanobu (1838 - 1912) Japanese Woodblock Print
Series; Chiyoda Outer Palace (Chiyoda no on-omote)
Chiyoda Outer Palace - Following his successful "Chiyoda Inner Palace" series, Chikanobu designed a second triptych series first published in 1897 illustrating the "Chiyoda Outer Palace" (Chiyoda no on-omote), the domain of the shogun and his retainers at Edo Castle, also known as Chiyoda Castle. The men are depicted taking part in sporting and hunting activities, martial arts, annual ceremonies, and traditional rituals. The Outer Palace series was smaller than the Inner Palace series, with 32 triptychs instead of 40, and these designs are seen much less often. Chikanobu's characteristic attention to detail highlights the clothing and accessories worn by the samurai, as well as the indoor and outdoor settings. Many designs include deluxe printing techniques such and embossing and burnishing. The handsome "Chiyoda Outer Palace" series provides a wonderful look at life inside the Shogun's castle prior to the Meiji Restoration.
Polo Tournament - Fantastic Chikanobu triptych of a group of Edo elite playing in a tournament of dakyu on the grounds of Chiyoda Palace, a game with similarities to both polo and lacrosse. Dating back to the eight century, dakyu was popularized by the Shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune during the Edo era as excellent training for warfare. A lively scene with players jostling each other on horseback as they reach for the balls with bamboo poles with small baskets at the ends. The shogun watches from a pavilion at left, retainers kneeling at his side. Nicely detailed with cloth embossing in the white kimono, touches of burnishing in the black lacquer horse equipment, and silver metallic pigment on the screen at far left. A terrific choice for display.
Artist - Chikanobu (1838 - 1912)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 28 1/4"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three attached panels, backed with paper. Vertical folds. Slight separation at ends of folds, repaired. Slight toning and soiling, a few spots and creases. Please see photos for details.