Series of Modern Chrysanthemum Varieties

(Imayô kiku-zoroi, 時世粧菊揃)

1845

 

The cultivation and exhibition of chrysanthemums was a popular activity, and this series compares beautiful woman, and their thoughts, to chrysanthemum varieties.  The titles are all puns on the word chrysanthemum (kiku).  Kiku” has many meanings, including to hear; to ask and to be effective.  This series is listed as number 128 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961).  The prints in this series are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban.

 

Chrysanthemum variety:

Thought: An order of hot sake (Okan o kiku, おかんをきく)

Description: Waitress carrying a bottle of hot sake

Publisher: Kojima-ya Jűbei

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety: The tsujiurao chrysanthemum

Thought: Consults a fortuneteller

Description: A beauty leans thoughtfully on a hibachi with two books and a sleeping cat on the floor nearby

Publisher: Iba-ya Kyűbei

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety:

Thought:

Description:

Publisher: Enshű-ya Matabei

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety:

Thought: Asking for the way (Michi o kiku, みちをきく)

Description: Standing woman, a branch with hanging objects over her shoulder, pointing ahead of her while looking over one shoulder

Publisher: Kojima-ya Jűbei

 

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety:

Thought: Asking whether she has a child (Kodomo ga aruka to kiku)

Description:

Publisher: Kojima-ya Jűbei 

 

Chrysanthemum variety:

Thought: Hearing geese flying from the north (Hatsukari o kiku)

Description: Beauty rubbing ink stick on ink stone

Publisher: Iba-ya Sensaburô 

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety:

Thought: Quick-witted (Kiten ga kiku, きてんがきく)

Description:

Publisher: Ise-ya Ichibei

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety:

Thought: Definitely Hearing It (Kitto kiku, きっときく)

Description:

Publisher: Iba-ya Sensaburô  

 

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety:

Thought: Spells are effective (Majinai ga kiku, まじないがきくDescription: Woman has created a paper doll and written a spell on it Publisher: Iba-ya Sensaburô

 

 

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety:

Thought: Listening to an announcement (Shirase o kiku, しらせをきく)

Description: Standing woman slightly bent at the waist with her right hand on her knees, a folded cloth with a pattern of turtles behind her

Publisher: Enshű-ya Matabei

 

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety: The tsuji-urao chrysanthemum

Thought: Does it suit me? (Niau ka to kiku)

Description: Beauty with bolts of fabric

Publisher: Enshű-ya Matabei

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety: The tsuji-urao chrysanthemum

Thought: Hearing It for the First Time in a Long While (Hisashiburi de kiku, ひさしぶりできく)

Description: Beauty showing an open book

Publisher: Iba-ya Sensaburô 

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety:

Thought: Left-handed (Hidari ga kiku, 左りがきく)

Description: Umeki of Hisanoya Teahouse

Publisher: Iba-ya Kyűbei

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety:

Thought:

Description: Woman holding up a sample of fabric

Publisher: Iba-ya Kyűbei

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety:

Thought:

Description: Woman looking at books of fabric designs

Publisher: Ise-ya Ichibei

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety:

Thought:

Description: Standing woman drying her hands on a cloth with a bowl of water behind her

Publisher: Ise-ya Ichibei

 

 

Chrysanthemum variety:

Thought:

Description: kneeling woman holding a plate in her left hand, with a sake cup before her

Publisher: Iba-ya Sensaburô 

 

This series is unusual in that the prints bear the seals of five different publishers:

Kojima-ya Jűbei

Iba-ya Kyűbei

Enshű-ya Matabei

Iba-ya Sensaburô 

Ise-ya Ichibei

   

Some prints also bear the seals of the woodblock carvers:

Matsushima Fusajirô (hori Fusajirô, 房次郞)

Ôta Renkichi (hori Renkichi, )

    “Robinson” refers to listing of the series in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961). 

 

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