Kuniteru III Utagawa, Silver Wedding Anniversary for Meiji Emperor


Artist: Kuniteru III Utagawa (Act. 1877-1896)
Title: Silver Wedding Anniversary for Meiji Emperor
Date: 1894
Publisher: Onishi Shonosuke
Dimensions: (L) 24.4 x 37.1 (C) 24.4 x 37.2 (R) 24.4 x 37.1 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

Portraits of Emperor Meiji became popular after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, an event that marked the start of Japan’s modernisation and end of its closed borders policy. The prints can be interpreted as a form of propaganda, supporting the new regime change from the feudal system of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The rapidity at which Japanese culture changed can be seen in the extent to which even the aristocracy, the arguable core and preservers of Japanese tradition, readily accepted Western clothing and architecture.


This print was published to celebrate the Emperor's Silver Wedding Anniversary. In Japan, such an event had never before been a matter for public rejoicing, but when the emperor was informed that it was customary for royalty in foreign countries to celebrate 'silver weddings', he gladly gave his consent to the proposed celebrations. Interestingly, Emperor Meiji and Empress Haruko are hidden by a curtain, an echo to older customs when it was forbidden to depict the Emperor or members of the royal family in art.

Kuniteru (Kunitsuna) II Utagawa (1830 - 1874)

A pupil of Kunisada, Kuniteru II depicted the manners and sights of the late Tokugawa and early Meiji ages, particularly the early industrial scenes.

More Information
Print FormatTriptych
ArtistKuniteru (Kunitsuna) II Utagawa (1830 - 1874)
SubjectBeauty & Female, Male & Female, Others
Size(L) 24.4 x 37.1 (C) 24.4 x 37.2 (R) 24.4 x 37.1 cm
Condition ReportMinor creases and pinholes.