N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1877 ca.
Condition: fair
Size: 25 x 17 cm



Meoto Iwa (夫婦岩), the “husband and wife rocks”, are two rocky stacks joined by a sacred rope shimenawa (注連縄) and located in the sea off Futami (二見), in the ancient Ise Province (伊勢国) which in this work the artist indicates with the abbreviated form Seishu (勢州). For the Shinto religion the two rocks are sacred and represent the union of the two creator deities of Japan, Izanagi (伊弉諾) and Izanami (伊弉冉), and consequently all the unions between man and woman.

The rare woodblock print presented here is titled “Seishu: Dawn at Futami” (勢州二見曙) and was made around 1877 by Suzuki Toshimoto (鈴木年基), an artist pupil of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (月岡芳年) and active in the city of Osaka (大阪) who was also a writer and editor with his birth name Suzuki Rainosuke (鈴木雷之助).

The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), despite the presence of a fold mark in the lower part and a small restoration on the left margin, is in fair condition.