Sekijo Juka, Courtesans Karauta and Hanaogi, Hashira-e
Artist: Sekijo Juka (active ca. 1789-1817)
Title: Courtesan Karauta from Choji-ya and courtesan Hanaogi from Ogi-ya
Date: early 19th century
Size: 10.7 x 60.4 cm
Original Japanese woodblock print.
Hashira-e, or pillar prints, is a narrow print format originally intended for decoration of the supporting pillars in traditional Japanese houses. The prints would have been pasted to the pillars and exposed to the elements of the Japanese household, making those that have survived very rare collectibles. While these more unusual sizes present their own challenges to the printing process, they also allow the artist to be experimental, imaginative, and innovative with the design’s compositional limitations.
Subjects range from the traditional portrayals of bijin (beautiful women), to legendary figures and heroes, to birds and flowers, in a limited space brimming with artistic imagination and expression.
Sekijo was an Edo period ukiyo-e print artist, actively working between the Kansei and Bunka periods. Born into a samurai family, Sekijo dropped his status and adopted Juka as his family name. He is thought to have been a follower of Toriyama Sekien and much influenced by Kitagawa Utamaro’s woodblock print style, which can be seen in his work.
|Print Format||Hashira-e (Pillar Print)|
|Subject||Beauty & Female|
|Dimensions||10.7 x 60.4 cm|
|Condition Report||Top and bottom panels attached. Soiling and horizontal creases. Paper residue on the back.|