Kunichika Series: “Thirty Six Tokyo Restaurants”, 1870-71

Signature: 国周筆 Kunichika hitsu; Date: 1870-1871    明治04 (1871) / 06  Censor seal 未六改; Publisher: 万屋 孫兵衛  Yorozuya Magobē; Carver: 片田彫長 Katada Chojirō

This fairly ambitious series isn’t on the same scale as Hiroshige’s “53 Stations of the Tokaidō” but it is nevertheless a fairly big one to try to collect. I think I’m approaching 50% but they do tend to sell for quite a bit of money these days so I am slowing down! 

This typical bijin-ga (beautiful women) series, matches a restaurant, which presumably paid a fee to be included in the series, with a beautiful and notable geisha of the day. I particularly love the vivid red hemp-leaf (asa-no-ha) pattern in the background and the subtly drawn plants with lovely bokashi fades.

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