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  • 執筆者の写真Michi

Selection from the Permanent Collection of Chiba Museum of Art X


The exhibition selected from the permanent collection is now on view from Dec. 7 to Dec. 26 .

It includes Japanese paintings and woodblock prints from the 17th to the early 20th centuries by TERASAKI Takeo, Ishii Kofu, and so on under the theme of "Self -portrait and a Figure",

by CHOBUNSAI Eishi, OKUMURA Masanobu, SUZUKI Harunobu, KITAGAWA Utamaro, UTAGAWA Kunisada, KEISAI Eisen, KOBAYASHI Kiyochika, and so on under the theme of "The elegance of Samurai",

by KURODA Kiyoteru, GODA Kiyoshi, AZECHI Umetaro, and so on under the theme of

"Various Scenes related to the War"

Special Collection: WATANABE Kazan's portrait paintings, sketches, and so on

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

When I took an elevator, three beauties on the floor warned me, "Don't be infected with the Omicron coronavirus!".

Here are some of the exhibition.

The woodblock print above is titled "Corps Camping at Yongdok, the Severe Cold Place" by KOBAYASHI Kiyochika, 小林清親(1847~1915). Kiyochika lyrically drew Japanese corps camping out at Yondok (営口), in China rather than just reporting.

Though Ukiyoe was an art that flourished among the common people in the Edo era, it gradually became unpopular due to the spread of newspapers. This is one of the war pictures Kiyotaka depicted featuring Japanese-Sino War(1894/明治27年~1895/明治28年) and Japanese-Rosso War(1904/明治37年~1905/明治38年). 

The title of the wood cut print above is "Jinzhou Castle after the Occupation, from the series the Reminiscences of the Akasaka Tameike Days" ( 赤坂溜池時代の追憶 占領後の金州城)drawn by KURODA Seiki (1866~1924) and made by GODA Kiyoshi(1862~1938), a wood engraving artist.

After returning home from 9-year-stay in France, KURODA Seiki did a lot of sketches of Japanese-Sino war as an correspondent for the "Le Monde Illustre" in Paris. This sketch shows relaxed atmosphere during the war. Is it because he depicted it after the occupation of Jinzhou Castle (金州城)?

GODA Kiyoshi learned how to engrave the timber cut into round slices(木口木版画)when he stayed in Paris. Ukiyoe artists engraved the plain-sawn timber.(板目版画)

WATANABE Kazan (1793~1841) sketched 50-year-old SATO Issai (1772~1859)who was a teacher of Confucianism (儒教) from various angles. You can imagine how much he had feelings of respect and gratitude for his teacher.

The title of the woodblock print above is "Parody of Act VII of Kanadehon Chushingura" (仮名手本忠臣蔵7段) by CHOBUNSAI Eishi (1756~1829). Eishi depicted three beauties in the Edo period to replace three kabuki characters in "The Treasury of Loyal Retainers" (Kanadehon Chushingura):While NANIWAYA Okita(難波屋おきた), center, is reading the secret letter, TAKASHIMA Ohisa(高島おひさ) on the second floor, and TACHIBANAYA Otatsu( 立花屋おたつ) on the ground are stealing a glance at the letter. In the 7th act of Kanadehon Chushingura, there is a scene that Yuranosuke(由良之助) reads the secret letter and Both Kudayu(九大夫) and Okaru(おかる) who have been hiding under the floor and on the second floor respectively try to steal a glance at the letter. "The Kanadehon Chushingura"(The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) is based on the Ako Incident in the Genroku era(1688~1704).

The bakufu or government banned general women's names drawn on Ukiyoe, as well as the incidents that really happened, under the Kansei Reforms which forced cutting corners (節約) on Edo citizens. Therefore Eishi adapted it to the setting of "Taiheiki"(太平記), "The Record of the Great Peace " which is a collection of war stories in the Kamakura and Muromachi era(the 14th century to the 16th century).

The title of the woodblock print above is "Yoshiwara Niwaka Festival" by KEISAI Eisen (1791~1848) depicting a geisha or a professional female entertainer doing impromptu dance performance in the enkai or the party. MORI Narimoto (1794~1836), the eleventh domain lord (11代毛利藩主), privately published many beautiful Kyoka books, asking UTAGAWA Kuniyoshi, UAGAWA Kunisada, and KEISAI Eisen to draw pictures.

Narimoto used 'EDONOHANANARI'(江都廼花也) as the pen name of a kyoka poet. He was a real man of elegance.

Kyoka(狂歌) is a parody of tanka(Japanese poem) that contains social satire, irony, and humor in 31(5-7-5-7-7) syllables. Many kyoka poems were the parodies of masterpieces such as Kokin Wakashu (a collection of ancient and modern Japanese poetry) compiled in 900s(the Heian Era).

Many poets were attracted by kyoka and we are interested in reading it in the late Edo Era.

More about Chiba City Museum of Art: please access





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