Meiji prints

  Design: Yōshū Chikanobu (1838-1912)  
  Title: Beauty No. 18 in the Shin Bijin (True Beauties) series (here is a concise overview of all 36 prints in this series)  
  Size: 30.2 x 21.2 cm (aiban)  
  Original woodblock print    
  Photography: Theo Janssen
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Series title in bottom margin:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
jin person  
bi beautiful  
shin truth True beauties

Artist’s signature in bottom margin:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
shū discipline  
chika circumference Yōshū
nobu prolong Chikanobu

Printing and publishing dates, publisher’s address and name, and number in series in left margin:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
mei light Printed in the
ji government Meiji era,
san three  
ichi one the 31th year
nen year (= 1898),
san three the 3rd month
gatsu month (= March 1898),
mi- three  
ka day  
in stamp and the 3rd day
satsu print (= March the 3rd, 1898).
kon now  
getsu month  
nano seven Published
ka day in the same
hatsu emit month,
go on its 7th day,
rin confront  
sha copy by copier,
in stamp  
satsu print printer,
ken combine  
hatsu emit  
sha person and publisher,
ni sun  
hon origin located at
hashi bridge Nihonbashi
ku district district,
muro greenhouse  
machi quarter Muro quarter,
san three  
chō house block  
me count suffix 3rd house block,
ban number  
chi earth, land number 9,
aki autumn  
yama mountain Akiyama
bu military  
u right  
ei defense  
mon gate Buemon.
ten No.
hachi eight eighteen.

The harmful effects of exposing another copy of this print to natural light for a period of 20 years (which I unfortunately did) can clearly be seen here.


Provenance: Chris Uhlenbeck’s Hotei Japanese Prints

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