Utagawa Kunisada I & Utagawa Hiroshige II – Fujii-dera in Kawachi Province, No. 5 of the Saikoku Pilgrimage Route

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Additional information

Artist

Hiroshige II, Utagawa, Kunisada I, Utagawa

Condition

(B) Fine Condition

Date

1840s-1860s

Movement

Ukiyo-e

Publisher

Yamadaya Shôjirô

Size

Oban (10"x15")

Subjects

Landscape, Samurai / Warrior, Story

“Miracles of Kannon” is a large series of woodblock prints designed in cooperation by Kunisada and Hiroshige II; the series was envisioned in three parts: thirty-three prints were made for the western provinces, thirty-three for the eastern provinces and thirty-four for the central provinces, but it is unclear if the series was ever completed. The series itself was published between 1858 and 1859 and details Kannon, a Buddhist deity revered in India. This series may have been marketed towards people in the rural areas of Japan where Buddhism was more widespread.

This print is No. 5 of the series, and reads:

No. 5 Kawachi Fujiidera

Mairu than
ask the cockling Fujiidera
flower purple clouds in Utena of

Buddha eleven faces thousand hand Senme Kannon
open group Gyoki Bodhisattva

Fujii AnHajime

AnHajime is served in the Yamato Kokuka fraction of Satobito / Being a goddamn person / At some point, hunting deer near Kawachi Kunihiraishi / Entering the temple of the mountain / Boil the meat with Buddhist equipment as a target firewood / Die to a fire truck / Become a fire truck Gyoki’s blame for riding hell / One child appears and tries to save him / The graduates of prison say, “He shouldn’t injure Buddhism and go to Yu, a person who is a treason.” Even though he is a sinner, he once has a good root to pull the timber for the reconstruction of Hase-dera, where I live. Becoming a disciple of Gyoki Bodhisattva / With the remainder of the sacred tree that chops Hase Kannon / Making this statue / Hearing the Holy War Emperor / Gyoki is the opening base / Aki is the cause of Fujiidera / Actually Kongoji Temple / Really a mysterious spiritual experience

The Woodblock Print

This oban-sized woodblock from 1858 is in good condition commensurate with age. The print has the typical binding holes in the right margin, along with some edge wear and discoloration, along with small creases within the print due to its very thin paper. Good color, no real discolorations to the image area. An unbacked verso with good bleed through.

About the Artists

Utagawa Kunisada I (1786 – 1865) was a prolific, successful and at his time highly appreciated leading designer of ukiyo-e Japanese woodblock prints. Born near Edo as the son of an affluent merchant with a ferry boat license, at the age of 15 Kunisada joined the famous art school of Utagawa Toyokuni and took the artist name Kunisada.

In 1807 Utagawa Kunisada produced his first illustrated book and in 1808 his first actor prints were published. While other artists like Kuniyoshi Utagawa or Hiroshige had to fight for recognition for years, he was successful from the beginning and would become the most commercially successful of all woodblock printmakers ever. Kunisada designed a wide spectrum of traditional ukiyo-e subjects like kabuki themes, beautiful women, historical events and quite a few shunga prints.

Hiroshige II, Utagawa