Meiji prints

  Design: Mizuno Toshikata (1866-1908)  
  Print title: Title page/Table of contents  
  Album/series title: Mitsui Gonomi Miyako no Nishiki (Brocades of the capital. The seasons and their fashions.)  
  Size: 22.6 x 32.3 cm (ōban)  
  Original woodblock print    
  Photography: Jacques Commandeur
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Toshikata Mitsui Gonomi Table of contents


Special effects: silver metallic pigments on the stars under the book on top, and on the orange cloth around the flowerbasket handle.

This print displays the title and table of contents of the Mitsui Gonomi Miyako no Nishiki album, including the titles of the twelve prints.

Artist’s name in first column on the right:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
mizu water  
no field  
toshi year  
kata person By the brush of
fude brush Mizuno Toshikata

Followed by series title in second column from the right:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
mitsu three  
i a well  
kono(mu) like  
miyako capital  
no ’s  
shi   Mitsui Gonomi -
ki brocade Brocades of the capital

In the third column from the right is the word ‘Index’:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
moku eye  
roku record Index

Followed by the Japanese titles*) of the twelve prints in this album (from right to left):

Character Reading Meaning Translation
tsuki end  
na name  
gori remnant Endless remnants
haru spring  
no ’s  
no field Spring field
do earth  
ho(su) to air Summer airing (of clothes)
mi   Evening cool
ya evening  
kai party  
grass Moonflower
sha copy  
sei life Drawing from nature
kyū rest  
kei relax  
shitsu room Resting room
chichi milk  
haha mother  
ka   The house of
ie house the nursing mother
akai deep red  
ha leaf  
kari hunt Autumn-leaf viewing
tonari next-door neighbour  
no ’s The next-door
ko child neighbour’s child
asa morning  
no ’s  
yuki snow Morning snow
ai favourite  
ken dog Pet dog

The last column from the right contains the firm name of the publisher:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
katsu slide  
kei think  
temple Kokkeidō
azusa woodblock printing woodblock printing

Followed by a red seal with the name of the publisher:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
man ten thousand Akiyama

And a red seal with the name of the carver:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
ho(ru) carve  
shō artisan Carver:
mune religion  
oka hill Muneoka


Provenance: White Fox Rare Books

*) With many thanks to Naoko Oba and Shinji Oba for helping me with the translation of the Japanese titles of the prints in this album.

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