Important triptych of woodblock prints made by the artist Toyohara Chikanobu (豊原周延) and printed in October 1888 by the publisher Hasegawa Sonokichi (長谷川園吉). The work is entitled “Aki no kyuchu kiku hanazakari” (秋の宮中菊花盛), that is “Chrysanthemums in Full Bloom at the Imperial Palace in Autumn”. The main figures of the scene are: on the right the emperor Meiji (明治天皇), in the center the empress consort Shoken (昭憲皇后), on the left the crown prince Yoshihito (嘉仁), the future emperor Taisho (大正天皇).
The chrysanthemum is a really important symbol in the Rising Sun: it was associated with the imperial throne, which is therefore also commonly called “Chrysanthemum Throne”, by the emperor Go-Toba (後鳥羽天皇) in the 12th century. By the Heian period (平安時代), the flower was cultivated throughout Japan and represented the noble class and the season of autumn. When the chrysanthemum was adopted as the emblem of the emperor, some families also cultivated it to signal their support for the imperial family.
The prints, despite the right signs of aging visible on the Japanese washi paper (和紙) and a small restoration on the upper edge of the central table, are in very good general condition.