Waterfall-striped Materials in Answer to Earnest Prayer

(Daigwan j˘ju ari-ga-taki-jima, 大願成就有ヶ瀧縞)

Publisher: Iba-ya Sensabur˘

c. 1845


This series consists of ten half-length portraits of beautiful women (bijin) wearing striped kimono.á Each print has a poem and an inset picture of a waterfall.á This series is listed as number 111 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961).á The prints in this series are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ˘ban.


Beauty: A woman holding a ring of ground cherries (hozuki) in her left hand and a fan in her right

Inset: End˘ Musha Morit˘, who became the monk Mongaku Shonin, doing penance under the Nachi Waterfall after having killed his beloved

Schaap: 7.1


Beauty: A female court attendant making oshi-e (raised patchwork) next to a hibachi

Inset: Tamaehime trying to free the captured god of rain in order to end a drought

Schaap: 7.2


Beauty: A pensive girl leaning on an armrest contemplating a tied scroll

Inset: Sugawara Michizane (845-903), who had been banished to Dazaifu on false accusations, making his daily ascent of Mount Tempai with his favorite plum tree, which miraculously followed him into exile, in the background

Schaap: 7.3


Beauty: A woman drying her back with a towel under a loosely draped gauze kimono with a rack of dried gourd strips above her head

Inset: Taira Kiyomori ( 1118-1181) in a thunderstorm in front of the Nunobiki Waterfall

Schaap: 7.4


Another state of the above print with different colors


Beauty: A woman passing through a bamboo noren (shop curtain) thus creating an image that mirrors that of the waterfall in the inset

Inset: Hatsuhana praying under the waterfall at Hakone for the recovery of her crippled husband Iinuma Katsugor˘

Schaap: 7.5


Beauty: Kikujid˘, having just washed her hair, is holding a box of chrysanthemum-shaped mochi (rice cakes).á The chrysanthemum is also seen on her kimono.

Inset: Kikujid˘, ôthe sprite of chrysanthemumö

Schaap: 7.6


Beauty: A praying woman holding an umbrella under her right arm

Inset: Hakoomaru, the younger of the Soga brothers, at Hakone

Schaap: 7.7


Beauty: A woman washing herself while sitting with her left hand in a tub of water

Inset: Kyoyű seeking absolution in the Ei River

Schaap: 7.8


Beauty: A woman holding a water-spraying toy in her left hand, restraining a child on her lap who reaches for it.á Her obi is decorated with dragons

Inset: Matsunage Taisen with the famous sword Kizui, an heirloom of Yukimura

Schaap: 7.9


Beauty: A woman with outstretched hands grasping a koto covered with a piece of cloth

Inset: Kintar˘ wrestling with a giant carp

Schaap: 7.10


This is a final drawing (hanshita-e) for the above print

This is a key block print for the same design.á It is an impression pulled from the first woodblock made by a carver from the artistĺs original drawing.á The artist would write instructions for each color on a separate key block print, and the woodblock for each color was cut using one of these as a guide.á Registration marks (kento) are characteristically found on Japanese key block prints, although not seen on this example.á Kento are cut in each woodblock, so that the paper can be properly aligned on each woodblock during printing.á In addition to being a guide for carving the color woodblocks, the key block was also used to apply black ink (usually) in the printing process.

ôSchaapö refers to listing in Heroes and Ghosts: Japanese Prints by Kuniyoshi by Robert Schaap (Hotei Publishing, Leiden, 1998).