Chikanobu Yoshu, Making a Small Garden, High-rank Ladies

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Chikanobu Yoshu (1838-1912)
Title: Making a Small Garden
Series: High-ranking Ladies of the Tokugawa Era
Publisher: Hasegawa Tsunejiro
Date: 1896
Size: (L) 36.8 x 24.9, (C) 36.8 x 24.9, (R) 36.8 x 24.9 cm
Condition report: Light discolouration from the previous mounting, minor stains, spots, and light creases, some oxidised areas.


In triptychs depicting Court Ladies, Chikanobu focuses on the day to day activities of the women who resided in the secluded palace. As a ‘beauty’ series, the focus is on the women and their clothes, with detailed patterned kimonos being a prominent feature of many of the prints. The ladies of the palace are depicted in a wide range of situations and activities, from writing poetry, to watching the cherry blossom, even to combat training, as it was required for the ladies of a castle to be able to defend their home as a last resort.


Elegant court ladies create zen style minature gardens, hakoniwa (lit. box garden). The art of creating miniature gardens in planters, ceramic vessels, or carved wooden trays enabled women living in an enclosed court to enjoy a small amount of nature.

More Information
Print Format Triptych
Artist Name Chikanobu Yoshu
Title Making a Small Garden
Subject Beauty & Female
Dimensions (L) 36.8 x 24.9, (C) 36.8 x 24.9, (R) 36.8 x 24.9 cm
Series High-ranking Ladies of the Tokugawa Era