March’s delivery from Japan

This unassuming print features another nice conflict between the traditional kimonos worn on either side and the western hat and metal-spoked umbrella held by the central character. It also has an very unusual frame, which could depict a telegraph wire and poles. During the Meiji period Japan emerged from the traditionalism and isolation of the Edo period into the western world and so there was a cultural clash between the modernisers and the traditionalists.  

This print is a classic scene from a famous play called “Kiwametsuki Banzui Chōbē” (“the last days of Banzui Chōbē”) featuring a type of character called a “chivalrous commoner”. While confronting a drunk and an arrogant samurai at a kabuki performance he inadvertently humiliates the local lord (who they work for). He is later invited to a party by the lord, who he understands will kill him, but his honour compels him to attend, nonetheless. Chōbē’s honour contrasts with the evil lord who would get his henchmen to ambush & kill him. 

This print shows another modern item … bricks! In Edo Japan they built primarily with wood & paper or stone so the concept of bricks laid in this European way would have been unusual.

This is a classic play featuring the “toughs” Nagoya Sanza & Fuwa Banzaemon in the Sayaate part of the play “Ukiyozuka Hiyoku no Inazuma”. A sayaate is a sword-clashing scene – in this case two enemies travelling incognito touch sword-sheaths by accident and then turn to face-off! 

Also, amongst this batch was a group of modern Hiroshige reprints. I don’t normally buy these but these were very cheap and I think they can be identified to the publisher which makes me think they could be collectables of the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.