AUTUMN MOON (Kikukawa Eizan)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1814 ca.
Condition: signs of aging
Size: 25,5 x 38 cm



Important original woodblock print of vertical large oban (大判) format made around 1814 by the artist Kikukawa Eizan (菊川英山). The work is taken from the series “Eight Views of Genji” (源氏八景) and is dedicated to the twelfth chapter of Genji Monogatari (源氏物語), the masterpiece of Japanese literature written in 11th century by the court lady Murasaki Shikibu (紫式部). We see depicted the famous courtesan Matsumura (松村) of the house of pleasure Matsubaya (松葉屋). Next to the woman’s name are the names of her two kamuro (禿) assistants: Matsuno (まつの) and Midori (みどり).

The complete title of the work is “Suma, Autumn Moon” (須磨秋月) and, inside the fan, we read the verses of a poetic composition taken from the aforementioned chapter: “Please remember, / at Suma bay / of the dripping brine, / the woman of Ise who, while crying, / gathers briny sea grass” (うきめかる / 伊勢をの海人を / 思ひやれ / 藻塩垂るてふ / 須磨の浦にて).

The precious print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), produced by the publisher Izumiya Ichibei (和泉屋市兵衛), owner of Kansendo (甘泉堂), shows the right signs of aging.