KOTATSU (Toyohara Kunichika)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1878
Condition: very good
Size: 23 x 34 cm



Charming polychrome woodblock print produced in April 1878 by the publisher Kobayashi Tetsujiro (小林鉄次郎) and by the engraver Watanabe Horiei (渡辺彫栄), entitled “Kotatsu” (弄燵) and taken from the “Kaika Ninjo Kagami” (開花人情鏡), one of the most refined series by the artist Toyohara Kunichika (豊原国周), whose title is variously translated as “A Mirror of the Flowering of Manners and Customs” or, with reference to the Meiji Renovation (明治維新), “A Mirror of Humanity in Modern Civilization”.

A bijin (美人) beauty is daydreaming, biting the edge of a sleeve of her kimono (着物), while warming her legs under a kotatsu (炬燵), the traditional Japanese low table underneath which there is a brazier and above which it is placed a quilt to keep in the warmth.

The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), despite the right signs of aging, is in overall very good condition.