Mirror of Women of Wisdom and Courage

(Kenyű fujo kagami, 賢勇婦女鏡)

Publishers: Takahashi-ya Takakichi and Arita-ya Seiemon

c. 1844

 

Each print in this series shows the head and shoulders of a woman from history or legend inside a circle surrounded by a different flower on each print.  The prints are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban.

 

Woman: Chiyo-jo (千代女)

Flower: Morning glory

Publisher: Takahashi-ya Takakichi

Robinson: S29.1

 

 

Woman: Chűjô-hime (中将姫) holding the two ends of a string game or puzzle against a background of brocade with a waterwheel design

Flower: Lotus

Publisher: Takahashi-ya Takakichi

Robinson: S29.2

 

Woman: Hanjo-gozen

(班女御前) with a bamboo branch over her shoulder, to which a fan is attached

Flower: Cherry blossoms

Publisher: Takahashi-ya Takakichi

Robinson: S29.3

 

 

Woman: Kaji of Gion (祇園梶) holding a fan (uchiwa) to her mouth

Flower: Convolvulus

Publisher: Takahashi-ya Takakichi

Robinson: S29.4

 

Woman: O-Kane (Kane-jo), the strong woman of Ômi Province carrying a tub of laundry

Flower: Pinks

Publisher: Takahashi-ya Takakichi

Robinson: S29.5

 

Woman: Matsushima no Tsubone with a writing brush in her mouth examining a bundle rolled in fabric

Flower: Tiger lilies

Publisher: Arita-ya Seiemon

Robinson: S29.6

 

Woman: Ôkio (大井子) striking a flint with a pipe in her mouth

Flower: Irises

Publisher: Takahashi-ya Takakichi

Robinson: S29.7

 

The same design as above, but the publisher is Arita-ya Seiemon

 

 

 

This print has the seals of both publishers―Takahashi-ya Takakichi and Arita-ya Seiemon

 

 

 

Woman: The great poetess, Ono no Komachi (小野小町), holding a poem and a fan under an umbrella

Flower: Peonies

Publisher: Takahashi-ya Takakichi

Robinson: S29.8

 

Another state of the above print also published by Takahashi-ya Takakichi

 

 

Woman: Tokiwa-gozen (常盤御前) in the snow sheltering her children under her hat

Flower: Camellias

Publisher: Takahashi-ya Takakichi

Robinson: S29.9

 

Another state of the above design.  It is a less labor-intensive printing than the above, which almost invariably means a later edition.  In this print, the delicate shading (bokashi) in the rectangular cartouche in the right upper corner was omitted.  Bokashi was achieved by hand applying a gradation of ink to the wooden printing block rather than inking the block uniformly.  This hand-application had to be repeated for each sheet of paper that was printed.

 

Woman: Tomoe-gozen (巴女), mistress of Kiso Yoshinaka, holding his helmet

Flower:

Publisher: Takahashi-ya Takakichi

Robinson: S29.10

“Robinson” refers to listing in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982) and its privately published supplement.

 

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