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Shiohi, Women of the Bunka Era from the series Thirty-six Elegant Selections


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Shiohi: Women of the Bunka Era

from the series Thirty-six Elegant Selections

by Mizuno Toshikata, 1893

IHL Cat. #666

About This Print

One of thirty-six prints in the series Sanjūroku kasen (also transcribed as Sanjūroku kurabe) depicting a fisherwoman and a stylish geisha gathering seafood at low tide.  The geisha seems to be demurely giggling at the woman struggling with the fish.  Embossing is used in both the white cartouche and the fisherwoman's skirt and lacquer has been applied on the geisha's collar and obi of the fisherwoman.  One of the most striking compositions in this series.

click on image to enlarge

The Series Thirty-six Elegant Selections (Sanjuroku kasen)

The series presents women of different classes from thirty-five different historical eras.

The eras represented are Jōdai ("ancient times" through the Nara Period of 794),
Kenkyū [1190-99], Genkō [1331-34], Bunnan [1444-49], Hōtoku [1449-52], Kōshō  [1455-57], Ōnin [1467-69], Keichō [1596-1615], Genna [1615-24], Kan'ei [1624-44], Shōhō [1644-48], Keian [1648-52], Jōō [1652-55], Meireki [1655-58], Manji [1658-61], Kanbun [1661-73], Enpō [1673-81],  Tenna [1681-84], Jōkyō [1684-88], Genroku [1688-1704], Hōei [1704-11], Shōtokua [1711-16], Kyōhō [1716-36], Kanpō [1741-44], Enkyō [1744-48], Kan'en [1748-51], Hōreki [1751-64], Meiwa [1764-72], An'ei [1772-81], Tenmei [1781-89], Kansei [1789-1801], Bunka [1804-1818], Bunsei [1818-30], Kōka [1844-48] and Bunkyū [1861-64].

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description Shiohi 汐干 (Low Tide), Bunka koro fujin 文化頃婦人 (Women of the Bunka Era)
 Series Sanjūroku kasen (also seen as "Sanjūroku i kurabe"1) 三十六佳撰 (Thirty-six Elegant Selections; also seen translated as Thirty-six Beauties Compared)
 Artist  Mizuno Toshikata (1866-1908)
 Seal  Toshikata seal (as shown above)
 Publication Date October 5, 1893
 Publisher Akiyama Buemon (秋山 武右衛門) in left margin
While this seal is not present on this impression, one of the two prints (07589-C00) in the collection of the Tokyo Metropolitan library carries this Morita suri 森田摺 seal.  While the TML lists Morita as the engraver, my guess that this seal identifies him as the printer, given the suri 摺 following Morita's name.
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - Japanese album backing paper; very minor marks and flaws
 Genre ukiyo-e, bijin-ga
 Format vertical oban
 H x W Paper
 14 x 9 1/2 in. (35.6 x 24.1 cm)
 H x W Image
 12 3/4 x 8 1/2 in. (32.4 x 21.6 cm)
 Collections This Print
 Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art S2003.8.1499; Tokyo Metropolitan Library 07589-C00 and 4762-005; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston RES.52.30 and 41.940.4; British Museum 1906,1220,0.1561
1 as listed by the British Museum

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