Ten'ichibo and Ooka Echizen no Kami


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This item on hold pending amendment of California Assembly Bill 1570. This work is a beautiful yakusha-e (kabuki actors' print) triptych. The instant print groups four actors on a total of three sheets. Artist: Morikawa Chikashige (fl. 1869-1882). Title: Ten'ichibo and Ooka Echizen no kami, The Judgment of Ten'ichibo by magistrate Ooka, governor of Echizen. Publ.: Not deciphered but name/address of artist and of publisher believed listed in left-hand panel. Date: Meiji. Believed to be Meiji 6/1873, but possibly later. Almost certainly an early pull of the first edition. Size: (HxW) 14.75" x 9.8" (each of 3 pieces) of triptych. Oban tate-e. Signature: Ichikawa Chikashige hitsu, with toshidama seal. Condition: Near Fine impression and state. No creasing observed. Immensely clean, front and back, save for occasional very small color blotches, quite minor. Sharp, occasionally broken key block lines and with well-registered colors. Vibrant aniline dye colors, slight color transfer. As to color choices, green, red, blue and yellow-ochre dominating. It is said of Chikashige's contemporary Kunichika, "In some works from this period [1870s] Kunichika used the aniline dyes identified with the 'era of civilization and enlightenment' as a wash for the entire background plane," and that is the case here, with red and green, in this particular triptych by Chikashige. Untrimmed top and left margins. Virtually no soiling. Unbacked. Over all a Very Good Plus triptych. Comments: The character of Ten'ichibo dominating the lower center of the triptych and with magistrate Ooka dominating the right panel. With the actors striking vivid mie or poses. From the earlier legends regarding Ooka Echizen and from the play Ten'ichibo Ooka seidan (Magistrate Ooka and the case of Ten'ichibo) by the kabuki playwright Kawatake Mokuami (1816-1893). With the title Echizen no Kami (Governor of Echizen or Lord of the Echizen), he is often known as Ooka Echizen. He was highly respected as an incorruptible judge. Ten'ichibo, for his part, was variously treated by legend as a charlatan and a rogue or, contrariwise, as a sincere if naïve young man. Size: Folio - over 12" - 15" tall. Bookseller Inventory #

Bibliographic Details

Title: Ten'ichibo and Ooka Echizen no Kami
Illustrator: Chikashige
Book Condition: Very Good Plus
Edition: Presumed First Edition.

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