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 statues.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: The Lonely House (Hitotsuya no zu, 當盛見立人形之内 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

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

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: Dragon 3, April 1856

Publisher: ďmi-ya Kyűsuke (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.

Kuniyoshi - Modern Select Dolls (T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi), The God Sarutahiko, the Goddess Uzumenomikoto & Adachi Baba

Title: Lifelike Dolls of Sarutahiko, Uzume-no-mikoto and the Hag of Hitostuya at Adachigahara

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

Kuniyoshi - Modern Select Dolls (T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi), The God Sarutahiko & the Goddess Uzumenomikoto

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.

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: Izutsu-ya Sh˘kichi

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: Izutsu-ya Sh˘kichi

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

Kuniyoshi - Modern Select Dolls (T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi), Lifelike Dolls of Three Beauties of the Three Kingdoms

Title: Lifelike Dolls of Three Beauties of the Three Kingdoms (Ningy˘ no uchi to ten cho san bijin)

Description: These three Chinese beauties represent the Wei (also known as Cao Wei), Han (also known as Shu Han or Shu) and Wu (also known as Eastern Wu) kingdoms that coexisted between the years 184 and 280 C. E.á

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Publisher: Honmo

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

Title: Simulated Dolls in the Latest Style: Kume the Immortal (T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi: Kume no Sennin, 當盛見立人形之内 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

Publisher: Honmo

Title: Lifelike Dolls of the God Sumiyoshi and Priest Yűten

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

 

I am grateful to Hehe Galerie for this image.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO PART II

 

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