Chikanobu Yoshu, First Horse Day, Chiyoda Palace

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Chikanobu Yoshu (1838-1912)
Title: First Horse Day
Series: The Inner Palace of Chiyoda
Publisher: Fukuda Hatsujiro
Date: 1896
Size: (L) 37.3 x 25.3, (C) 37.3 x 25.2, (R) 37.2 x 25.3 cm
Condition report: Minor stains and spots, light creases.


Kabuki actors gather outside the main hall of the Oku residential area to prepare a special performance on the first horse day of the lunar New Year. The celebrations are based on the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. The troupe features a falconer, Wisteria Maiden, a daimyo's porter, heroic Aotake Goro with his giant arrow, red-faced demon and warrior monk Benkei carrying an enormous temple bell.


The residence in the background or blossoming plums contrasts with the vivid colours of the performers. The point of the attention might be the ornamental kimono of Wisteria Maiden, beautifully adorned with flowers in full bloom. The New Year play is about to begin as the tension can be sensed between the patiently waiting audience and rehearsing troupe.

More Information
Print Format Triptych
Artist Name Chikanobu Yoshu
Title First Horse Day
Subject Beauty & Female, Male & Female, Kabuki, Kimono Design
Dimensions (L) 37.3 x 25.3, (C) 37.3 x 25.2, (R) 37.2 x 25.3 cm
Series Court Ladies of the Chiyoda Palace
Publisher Fukuda Kumajiro, Hatsujiro