Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Hamamatsu, 53 Parallels for the Tokaido Road

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1798 - 1861)
Title: 30. Hamamatsu. Taira no Shigemori
Series: Fifty-three Parallels for the Tokaido Road
Publisher: Enshuya Matabei
Date: c. 1845
Condition: Binding holes on the left. Some wear on the margins and discolouration at the bottom. Light soiling throughout.
Size: 24.6 x 36.5 cm

The series 'Fifty-three Parallels for the Tokaido Road' became famous for its striking designs and stories illustrated, but also because of the collaboration between publishers and three important artists of the day. Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798 - 1861) produced thirty-one prints for the series, Utagawa Hiroshige (1797 - 1858) nineteen and Utagawa Kunisada (1786 - 1864) the remaining eight, adding up to more than the 'fifty-three' prints implied in the title. Each print has a cartouche at the top with explanatory text on the stories drawn from folklore and history associated with the post-stations of Tokaido.


In this print, Taira no Shigemori is in captivity at Kamakura, watched by a woman in the foreground. Shigemori was the favourite son of the Taira clan patriarch, Taira no Kiyomori, and supported his father in the Heiji Rebellion. The lady depicted here wears an elaborate furisode (long sleeve kimono), shaded in such a way as to suggest crepe fabric.

More Information
Artist Name Kuniyoshi Utagawa
Title 30. Hamamatsu. Taira no Shigemori
Subject Beauty & Female, Samurai & Male, Male & Female
Dimensions 24.6 x 36.5 cm
Publisher Enshuya Matabei