Re: cut out toy print

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Posted by Alec W. ( on March 07, 2021 at 21:54:03:

In Reply to: cut out toy print posted by Francis on March 06, 2021 at 10:58:26:

I'm not totally sure how to interpret everything here, but here are some observations...

The artist is certainly Yoshifuji, signing "Yoshifuji ga" よし藤画.

The title is, I think, "Chōsen ryōmen-gō" 調せん両めん合. "Ryōmen", usually 両面, just means "double-sided", so that makes sense. But I don't know how to interpret the first part... and maybe it's "Shirabe sen ..."?

Now things get confusing.

The publisher seal is pretty clearly Marks 08-132, reading "Bunshōdō" 文正堂 and "Kobayashi" 小林. The seal belongs to Kobayashi Taijirō 小林泰治郎. Marks says that this publisher was active producing prints from 1846 to 1853, and then again in 1894m and that this seal was used from 1848 to 1853. Yoshifuji was certainly active during this latter period.

But the seal to the right of the publisher seal looks to me to be a combined aratame-date seal of the type used from 1859 to 1871. The best match is probably 1870, 4th month, although 1869.4 is plausible, too -- it's hard to be sure with the top cut off.

Anyway, Yoshifuji did illustrate a sericulture book called "Sanyō zenzu" 蚕養全図 for this publisher in 1877, so the artist clearly maintained a relationship with the publisher through the period in question. And I agree it's hard to make any sense of the print's imagery during the earlier part of the timeframe -- it sure looks like a European or American military band to me.

So my guess is that Marks is wrong about this publisher, and that Taijirō did in fact continue to publish sheet prints during the Bakumatsu, of which this is one.


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