Category Archives: Uchiwa-e woodblock prints

WOMEN ON PATROL DURING A FIRE (Toyohara Chikanobu)

A patrol of women armed with naginata (薙刀), belonging to the unit who guarded the women’s quarters of the Edo Castle (江戸城), performs the night guard service during an evacuation that has become necessary following the outbreak of a fire in the residence of the shogun (将軍).

The precious triptych of woodblock prints, made in March 1896 by the artist Toyohara Chikanobu (豊原周延) and produced by the publisher Fukuda Hatsujiro (福田初次郎), owner of Gusokuya (具足屋), is entitled “Evacuation” (お立ち退) and is taken from the series “Chiyoda Inner Palace” (千代田之大奥).

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BULLFINCH AND PEONY (Utsushi Rinsai)

Fine polychrome woodblock print of the uchiwa-e (団扇絵) type, that is intended for the decoration of a bamboo uchiwa (団扇) fan, made around 1880 by the famous artist Utsushi Rinsai (芝琳斎) and depicting peony flowers (牡丹), a bullfinch (ウソ) and, in the lower right, a small bee (蜜蜂).

Master Rinsai was active in Tokyo between 1869 and 1890. His artistic activity was focused entirely on kacho-ga (花鳥画) images of flowers and birds, made in a dynamic and sometimes unusual way, that is combining traditional Japanese landscapes with the addition of particular decorative Western techniques.

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COUPLE OF CRANES ON THE SEASHORE (Araki Kanpo)

Elegant polychrome woodblock print of the uchiwa-e (団扇絵) type, that is intended for the decoration of a bamboo uchiwa (団扇) fan, made around 1897 by the artist Araki Kanpo (荒木寛畝) and depicting a couple of Manchurian cranes (丹頂) on the seashore.

The uchiwa fan is one of the most popular accessories of Japanese women since the 6th century and, born as an object of daily use, it soon became also a small work of art to be carried as a manifestation of the mood as well as of good taste.

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JAPANESE CRANE (Iijima Koga)

Elegant polychrome woodblock print of the uchiwa-e (団扇絵) type, that is intended for the decoration of a bamboo uchiwa (団扇) fan, made in the second half of the nineteenth century by the artist Iijima Koga (飯島光峨) and depicting a Manchurian crane (丹頂), also known as Japanese crane.

The uchiwa fan is one of the most popular accessories of Japanese women since the 6th century and, born as an object of daily use, it soon became also a small work of art to be carried as a manifestation of the mood as well as of good taste.

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