Modern Select Dolls, Part I

(T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi, 當盛見立人形之内)

1855-1856

 

This group of prints illustrates carved groups of ôdollsö displayed at Kannon Temple in Asakusa.á Although the word ningy˘ is usually translated as ôdollsö, these lifelike dolls (iki-ningy˘, 生人形) were in fact extremely realistic life-sized clothed mannequins.á This print series is listed as number 185 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961).á The titles of the prints vary.á Unless otherwise noted, the individual sheets are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ˘ban, and were intended to be placed side-by-side to form diptychs and triptychs.á Kuniyoshi also designed Six Fashionable Female Poetic Immortals, a series of single sheet ˘ban prints of lifelike dolls.

 

Kuniyoshi - Modern Select Dolls (T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi), The Lonely House (Hitotsuya no zu)

Title: Modern Select Dolls (T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi, 當盛見立人形之内), The Lonely House (Hitotsuya no zu, 一ツ家之圖)

Description: This ever popular story tells of a mad woman who ran a boarding house where she killed and devoured young women until one of them was saved by, the goddess of mercy (on the left).

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Publisher: Honmo (本茂)

Title: Lifelike Dolls of the Hag of Hitotsuya at Adachigahar (風流人形の内 一ツ家の図 祐天上人)

Description: The Hag of Hitotsuya with her pregnant victim and goddess Kwannon

Inset: The god Fud˘ My˘-˘ with the child Hotoro

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Publisher: J˘shű-ya Juz˘

 

I am grateful to Hehe Galerie for this image.

Kuniyoshi - (T318) The Lonely House story- the Hag (center) with a suppliant female victim and the appearance of the goddess Kwannon (right) behind a screen

Title: The Lonely House at Asajigahara (Asajigahara hitotsuya no zu, 浅芽原一ッ家之図

This triptych is another version of the same scene, which is listed as T318 in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982).

Date: March-April 1855

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

Kuniyoshi - Modern Select Dolls (T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi), Lifelike Dolls of the Hag of Hitotsuya, 1856

Title: Fashionable Living Dolls (Fűyű ningy˘, 風流人形)

Description: This is a close-up version of the same group of dolls

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Publisher: Daikoku-ya Kinnosuke

 

NOTE: The individual sheets comprising this triptych are each about 10 by 7 inches (25 by 18 centimeters), a size known as chűban.

Title: The Lonely House (Adachi-ga-hara hitotsuya no zu, 安達原一ツ家之圖)

Description: The Hag of the Lonely House with a female victim trussed up on the floor and an apparition of the goddess Kwannon behind

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Publisher: ďmi-ya Kyűjir˘

 

NOTE: This diptych is listed as T330 in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982).á I am grateful to Hehe Galerie for the image.

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for this alternate state of the above diptych with blue in place of purple.

Title: Lifelike Dolls of Sarutahiko, Uzume-no-Mikoto and the Hag of Hitostuya at Adachigahara (Fűryű ningy˘ Sarutahiko ďgami Uzume-no-Mikoto Adachigahara, 風流人形 さるたひこ大神 うすめのミこと あだちば)

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

Title: Fashionable Living Dolls (Fűryű iki ningy˘, 風流生人形)

Description: The deity Saruta-hiko (right) holding a staff with one hand to his forehead, looks over at the goddess Uzume (left), two other deities behind them.

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Publisher: Kazusa-ya Iwaz˘

Kuniyoshi - Modern Select Dolls (T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi), Lifelike Dolls from the Suikoden, Kosanry˘ Ichij˘sei (L), Tammeijir˘ Gensh˘go & Dait˘ Kwansh˘ (R)

Title: Fashionable Lifelike Dolls (Fűryű ningy˘ zukushi, 風流人形盡)

Publisher: Hayashi-ya Sh˘gor˘

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Kosanry˘ Ichij˘sei deflecting flying arrows with two swords

Tammeijir˘ Gensh˘go half-naked grappling underwater with an armored foe

Dait˘ Kansh˘ (大刀關勝) standing on the shore with an enormous glaive

Kuniyoshi - Modern Lifesized Dolls (T˘sei iki ningy˘) (2)1856, Kosanry˘ Ichij˘sei (L), Tammeijir˘ Gensh˘go (C) & Dait˘ Kwansh˘ (R)

Here is a slightly different version of the same group of dolls.á This version was intended to be viewed as individual prints since the backgrounds are not continuous.

Title: Modern Lifelike Dolls (T˘sei iki ningy˘, 當盛生人形)

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Publisher: Ise-Yoshi

 

Left-hand panel courtesy of John Rose and Auction Ukiyo-e Ltd.

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for this modern reproduction.

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for locating these preparatory drawing for the above triptychs.

Kuniyoshi - Modern Select Dolls (T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi), Lifelike Dolls of Foreign Strangers & the Maruyama Courtesans Now on View at Okuyama in Asakusa (triptych)

Title: Lifelike Dolls of Foreign Strangers and the Maruyama Courtesans Now on View at Okuyama in Asakusa (浅草奥山 生人形)

Publisher: Kamaya Kihei

Kuniyoshi - Modern Select Dolls (T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi), Lifelike Dolls of Foreign Strangers & the Maruyama Courtesans Now on View at Okuyama in Asakusa (diptych)

Title: Lifelike Dolls of Foreign Strangers and the Maruyama Courtesans Now on View at Okuyama in Asakusa (浅草奥山生人形)

Date: 5th month of 1855

Publisher: Kamaya Kihei

Title: Living dolls at Okuyama in Asakusa (Asakusa Okuyama iki-ningy˘, 浅草奥山生人形)

Description: Foreigners with long arms, long legs, and holes in their chests

Date: 4th month of 1855

Publisher: Izutsu-ya Sh˘kichi

Title:

Description: The Maruyama Courtesans

Date: 4th month of 1855

Publisher: Izutsu-ya Sh˘kichi

Title: Lifelike Dolls of Three Beauties of China, India, and Japan (Ningy˘ no uchi to ten cho san bijin, 人形之内 唐天朝 三美人)

Description: The pipa player represents China (Tang, ), the sheng player represents India (Tenjiku, []), and the koto player represents Japan (imperial court, )

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Publisher: Honmo

 

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for information about this diptych.

Kuniyoshi - Modern Select Dolls (T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi), The Wizard Kume

Title: Modern Select Dolls (T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi, 當盛見立人形之内), Kume the Immortal (Kume no Sennin, 粂の仙人)

Description: The Daoist immortal Kume, who had the power of flight, fellľboth literally and spirituallyľafter staring at a partially exposed washerwoman

Date: 2nd month of 1856

PublisherHonmo (本茂)

Title: Lifelike Dolls of the God Sumiyoshi and Priest Yűten (風流人形尽 住吉大明神 祐天)

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

 

I am grateful to Hehe Galerie for this image.

Title: All Sorts of Lifelike Dolls (T˘sei ningy˘ zukushi no uchi, 當世人形づくしの内)

Description: The god Fud˘ My˘-˘ (不動明王) and priest Yűten (祐天)

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Publisher: Fujioka-ya Keijir˘

 

I am grateful to Lucienne Parkan for this image.

Title: 風流人形つくし びんつる おふくと美じん

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

 

I am grateful to Lucienne Parkan for this image.

Title: Picture of Refined Dollsů (風流人形之内 びんづる うすめ命)

Description: The goddess Ame-no-Uzume dancing and the arhat Binzuru playing a xylophone

Date: 4th month of 1856

Publisher: J˘shű-ya Jűz˘

 

I am grateful to Lucienne Parkan for this image.

Title: Lifelike Dolls in the Inner Temple at Asakusa (Asakusa okuyama iki ningy˘, 浅草奥山 生人形)

Description: Tamatori-hime, the ama who stole the sacred jewel, pursued through the waves by a great dragon and various sea creatures

Date: c. 1855-1856

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

Robinson: T299a (described but not assigned a number)

 

NOTE: This is a retitled reprint of a triptych originally titles ôTamatori-hime at the Dragon Palaceö, which was published in 1853. áI am grateful to Robert Pryor for locating this image.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO PART II

 

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