Edo prints

  Design: Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806)  
  Title: Shiki no hana jō  
  Size: 30.2 x 21.2 cm  
  Posthumous printing from newly cut woodblocks    
  Photography: Jacques Commandeur
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Utamaro Shiki no hana jo


Originally released in 1801 by publisher Izumiya Ichibei (和泉屋市兵衛). This version was released in 1916 by publisher Yoshikawa Kōbunkan (吉川弘文館) from new woodblocks carved by Ōtsuka Yūji (大塚裕次).

Title printed in black on a white slip on the book cover:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
shi four  
ki seasons  
no ’s Flowers of the
hana flowers four seasons
top First book

This first book covers the seasons of spring and summer. The full contents of this 1916 reproduction of the first volume of Utamaro’s Shiki no hana illustrated books can be viewed on the website of the Pulverer Collection dedicated to Japanese illustrated books produced in the Edo period and beyond here and on David Bull’s Mokuhankan website here.

The topics of the prints depicted in this first volume are:

  1. Kerria (yamabuki)
  2. New Year manzai performance at the mansion of a feudal lord
  3. New Year games of shuttlecock and battledore and ball-games
  4. Gathering spring herbs
  5. Embarking in summer boats in summer
  6. Enjoying fireworks
  7. Crossing a bridge in summer
  8. Women inside a mosquito-net during a thunderstorm
  9. Iris


Provenance: Utagawa123

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