top of page
  • 執筆者の写真Michi

Selection from the Permanent Collection of Chiba Museum of Art VIII


The exhibition selected from the permanent collection is now on view from Oct. 5 to Oct. 31.

It includes Japanese paintings and woodblock prints from the 17th to the early 20th centuries

by TANI Buncho, SUZUKI Kiichi, DOMOTO Insho, and so on under the theme of "ELEGANCE of Autumn", by OKUMURA Masanobu, SUZUKI Harunobu, CHOBUNSAI Eishi, CHOBUNSAI Eisho, and UTAGAWA Kuniyoshi under the theme of "Parodies and Disguises", by ISHI Hakutei, ONCHI Koshiro, and so on under the theme of "Hommages and Parodies".

It also includes works of etching, drypoint, mezzotint, and so on by FUKAZAWA Yukio(深沢幸雄) (1924~2017).

Here are some of them.

The title of the woodblock print above is 'Parody of Play Mochizuki(謡曲 望月)' by UTAGAWA Kuniyoshi(1797~1861). He depicted an exact moment that a woman likened to Tomoharu's wife took her scarf off to revenge on Mochizuki who had killed her husband.

The brief summary of the play: YASUDASHOJI Tomoharu(安田庄司友治), load of the Shinano privince (Nagano prefecture), was killed by his cousin MOCHIZUKI Akinaga over dispute.

OZAWAGYOUBU Tomofusa( 小沢刑部友房), Tomoharu's retainer(家臣), left Shinano for the village of Moriyama, in the Omi province(Shiga prefecture) for fear of being killed by Akinaga.

Fearing for their lives, Tomoharu's wife and her son, Hanawaka, escaped Shinano, too. And they have been wandering since then, while Tomofusa ran an inn at Moriyama. On the way back from the prison, Mochizuki happened to stay at an inn which Tomofusa was running. Coincidentally Tomoharu's wife and Hanawaka came to stay in Tomofusa's inn on the same day. Tomofusa, Tomoharu's wife, and Hanawaka came up with a conspiracy to kill MOCHIZUKI for revenge: They entertained Akinaga with sake, music, and dance until Akinaga fell into asleep. The wife disguised herself as a blind dancer and Hanawaka beat the Japanese hand drum( 鼓). They succeeded in the conspiracy.

This was an Uchiwa-e to be pasted on one side of the fan.

The title of the woodblock print above is 'Parody of the Suma Chapter from the Tale of Genji(源氏物語) by OKUMURA Masanobu(1686~1764). He depicted a man of the Edo period to replace HIKARU Genji relaxing on tatami mat as he was watching a flight of geese. Since Genji's adulteries had been revealed, he was deprived of his rank. He voluntarily left Kyoto for Suma because he was so afraid of being exiled.

Citizens of Edo would enjoy looking at parodies of classical literature.

The title of the woodblock print above is 'Shinbashi from the series Twelve Views of Tokyo by ISHI Hakutei 石井柏亭(1882~1958) depicting a geisha, a professional female entertainer, sitting in warm kotatsu which is a small table with an electric heater underneath and covered by a quilt.

In a square small space you'll see a lot of electric wires and a European building. He emphasized the modernization in Tokyo in the Taisho era.

He is well known as a woodblock artist, oil painting artist, and art clitic.

The title of the woodblock print above is 'Tea Ceremony, from the series of Parodies of the Six Arts' by CHOBUNSAI Eishi(1756~1829). He depicted the woodblock prints were of six arts for the accomplished Japanese ladies.

In China, it is said that rites, music, archery, charioteering, literature, and mathematics are the six arts for the outstanding disciples of Koshi(孔子).

Eishi parodied the Chinese six arts and depicted Japanese six arts: tea ceremony, flower arrangement, waka( Japanese poem), koto(Japanese harb), Japanese painting, and incense-listening(smelling) for accomplished ladies.

He drew a lot of woodblock prints of Bijinga, pictures depicting beautiful women, of the whole body with elongated( 引き伸ばされた)figure, which fascinated citizens in Edo.

The title of the ink painting above is 'Reeds with Ears(穂) under a Full Moon' by TANI Buncho(1763~1840), depicting the beautiful reeds with ears on a vast land under the full moon in August of the old calendar, which he boasted as one of the most beautiful sceneries in Edo(東京).

Buncho drew this painting at 64 in his mature period.

YOSHIZAWA Mika's work, with silk-screen ink on an acrylic board, in 1992.

More about Chiba City Museum of Art: please access





bottom of page