Toyohara Chikanobu

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Print depicting Yaegaki-hime carrying the helmet of the warrior Takeda Shingen as she dances amid magical foxfires in Honcho Nijushiko. Triptych by Chikanobu.
For other figures with similar names, see Chikanobu.

Toyohara Chikanobu (豊原周延) (1838–1912), better known to his contemporaries as Yōshū Chikanobu (楊洲周延), was a prolific woodblock artist of Japan's Meiji period.

Names[edit]

Chikanobu signed his artwork "Yōshū Chikanobu" (楊洲周延). This was his "art name" (作品名) sakuhinmei. The artist's "real name" (本名) honmyō was Hashimoto Naoyoshi (橋本直義); and it was published in his obituary.[1]

Many of his earliest works were signed "studio of Yōshū Chikanobu" (楊洲齋周延) Yōshū-sai Chikanobu; a small number of his early creations were simply signed "Yōshū" (楊洲). At least one triptych from 12 Meiji (1879) exists signed "Yōshū Naoyoshi" (楊洲直義).

The portrait of the Emperor Meiji held by the British Museum is inscribed "drawn by Yōshū Chikanobu by special request" (應需楊洲周延筆) motome ni ōjite Yōshū Chikanobu hitsu.[2]

No works have surfaced that are signed either "Toyohara Chikanobu" or "Hashimoto Chikanobu".[3]

Military career[edit]

Chikanobu was a retainer of the Sakakibara clan of Takada domain in Echigo province. After the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate, he joined the Shōgitai and fought in the Battle of Ueno.[1]

He joined Tokugawa loyalists in Hakodate, Hokkaidō, where he fought in the Battle of Hakodate at the Goryōkaku star fort. He served under the leadership of Enomoto Takeaki and Otori Keisuke; and he achieved fame for his bravery.[1]

Following the Shōgitai’s surrender, he was remanded along with others to the authorities in the Takada domain.[1]

Artist's career[edit]

In 1875 (Meiji 8), he decided to try to make a living as an artist. He travelled to Tokyo. He found work as an artist for the Kaishin Shimbun.[4] In addition, he produced nishiki-e artworks.[1]

In his younger days, he had studied the Kanō school of painting; but his interest was drawn to ukiyo-e. He studied with a disciple of Keisai Eisen and then he joined the school of Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi; during this period, he called himself Yoshitsuru. After Kuniyoshi’s death, he studied with Kunisada. He also referred to himself as Yōshū.[1]

Like many ukiyo-e artists, Chikanobu turned his attention towards a great variety of subjects. His work ranged from Japanese mythology to depictions of the battlefields of his lifetime to women's fashions. As well as a number of the other artists of this period, he too portrayed kabuki actors in character, and is well known for his impressions of the mie (mise en scène) of kabuki productions.

Chikanobu was known as a master of bijinga,.[1] images of beautiful women, and for illustrating changes in women's fashion, including both traditional and Western clothing. His work illustrated the changes in coiffures and make-up across time. For example, in Chikanobu's images in Mirror of Ages (1897), the hair styles of the Tenmei era, 1781-1789[5] are distinguished from those of the Keiō era, 1865-1867.[6]

His works capture the transition from the age of the samurai to Meiji modernity, the artistic chaos of the Meiji period exemplifying the concept of "furumekashii/imamekashii".[7]

Chikanobu is a recognizable Meiji period artist,[8] but his subjects were sometimes drawn from earlier historical eras. For example, one print illustrates an incident during the 1855 Ansei Edo earthquake.[9]

"The Korean Uprising of 1882" — woodblock print by Chikanobu

The early Meiji period was marked by clashes between disputing samurai forces with differing views about ending Japan's self-imposed isolation and about the changing relationship between the Imperial court and the Tokugawa shogunate.[10] He created a range of impressions and scenes of the Satsuma Rebellion and Saigō Takamori.[11]

Some of these prints illustrated the period of domestic unrest and other subjects of topical interest, including prints like the 1882 image of the Imo Incident, also known as the Jingo Incident (壬午事変 jingo jihen) at right.

The greatest number of Chikanobu's war prints (戦争絵) sensō-e appeared in triptych format. These works documented the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895. For example, the "Victory at Asan"[12] was published with a contemporaneous account of the July 29, 1894 battle. Among those influenced by Chikanobu were Nobukazu (楊斎延一) Yōsai Nobukazu and Gyokuei (楊堂玉英) Yōdō Gyokuei.[1]

Genres[edit]

Battle scenes[edit]

Examples of battle scenes 戦争絵 (せんそうえ sensō-e) include:

Examples of scenes from this war include:

Examples of scenes from this war include:

Examples of scenes from this war include:

Examples of scenes from this war include:

Warrior Prints[edit]

Examples of warrior prints (武者絵 (むしゃえ) Musha-e?) include:

Beauty pictures[edit]

Examples of "beauty pictures" (美人画 Bijin-ga?) include:

Historical pictures[edit]

Examples of historical scenes (史教画 Reshiki-ga?) include: Recent (Meiji era) history

Ancient history

Famous Places[edit]

Examples of scenic spots (名所絵 Meisho-e?) include:

Meisho Bijin Awase series, Matsushima in Rikuzen Province
gentō shashin kurabe series, Oji no taki
Nikko Mesho series, Hannya and Hoto Waterfalls
Kameido Tenjin Shrine

Portraits[edit]

Examples of portraits (肖像画 Shōzō-ga?) include:

Enlightenment pictures[edit]

Examples of "enlightenment pictures" (文明開化絵 Bunmei kaika-e?) include:

Women and girls in Western dress with various hairstyles
shin bijin series:Woman with Western-style umbella and book
azuma fūzoku fuku tsukushi series:Western-style clothing
mitate jūnishi series:Depiction of mixed clothing styles

Theatre scenes[edit]

Examples of "kabuki scenes/actor portraits" (役者絵 Yakusha-e?) include:

Memorial prints[edit]

Examples of "Memorial prints" (死絵 Shini-e?) include:

Women's Pastimes[edit]

Examples of "Etiquette and Manners for Women" (女禮式 joreishiki?) include:

 

Emperor Meiji Pictures[edit]

Examples of Emperor Meiji relaxing include:

Contrast Pictures[edit]

Examples of "Contrast prints" (見立絵 Mitate-e?) include:

Glorification of the Geisha[edit]

Examples of this genre include:

meiyo iro no sakiwake series:reading a letter
Katamura-rō in the Yoshiwara
imayō tōkyō hakkei series:walking with an escort

Formats[edit]

Like the majority of his contemporaries, he worked mostly in the ōban tate-e[14] format. There are quite a number of single panel series, as well as many other prints in this format which are not a part of any series.

He produced several series in the ōban yoko-e[15] format, which were usually then folded cross-wise to produce an album.

Although he is, perhaps, best known for his triptychs, single topics and series, two diptych series are known as well. There are, at least, two polyptych[16] prints known.[17]

His signature may also be found in the line drawings and illustrations in a number of ehon (絵本), which were mostly of a historical nature. In addition, there are number of sheets of sugoroku (すごろく) with his signature that still exist and at least three prints in the kakemono-e[18] format were produced in his latter years.

Selected works[edit]

In a statistical overview derived from writings by and about Hashimoto Toyohara, OCLC/WorldCat encompasses roughly 300+ works in 300+ publications in 2 languages and 700+ library holdings[19]

  • 鳥追阿松海上新話. 初編 (1878)
  • 鳥追阿松海上新話. 2編 (1878)
  • 五人殲苦魔物語. 初編 (1879)
  • 艷娘毒蛇淵. 2編上の卷 (1880)
  • 白菖阿繁顛末. 3編 (1880)
  • 沢村田之助曙草紙. 初編 (1880)
  • 浪枕江の島新語. 3編下之卷 (1880)
  • 浪枕江の島新語. 3編中之卷 (1880)
  • 浪枕江の島新語. 3編上之卷 (1880)
  • 浪枕江の島新語. 初編上之卷 (1880)
  • 浪枕江の島新語. 2編下之卷 (1880)
  • 坂東彥三倭一流. 初編 (1880)
  • 川上行義復讐新話. 2編下の卷 (1881)
  • 川上行義復讐新話. 初編上之卷 (1881)
  • 真田三代記 : 絵本. 初編 (1882)
  • 明良双葉艸. 8編上 (1888)
  • 明良双葉艸. 5編上 (1888)
  • 千代田之大奥 by 楊洲周延 (1895)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

A Seated Woman with a Lacquer Candle Stand (c. 1875) by Chikanobu. Wood-block print, 36.2 × 23.8 cm (14.25 × 9.37 in). Collection of Brooklyn Museum.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h See "Yōshū Chikanobu [obituary]," Miyako Shimbun, No. 8847 (October 2, 1912). p. 195:
    "Yōshū Chikanobu, who represented in nishiki-e the Great Interior of the Chiyoda Castle and was famous as a master of bijin-ga, had retired to Shimo-Ōsaki at the foot of Goten-yama five years ago and led an elegant life away from the world, but suffered from stomach cancer starting this past June, and finally died on the night of September 28th at the age of seventy-five.
    His real name being Hashimoto Naoyoshi, he was a retainer of the Sakakibara clan of Takada domain in Echigo province. After the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate, he joined the Shōgitai and fought in the Battle of Ueno. After the defeat at Ueno, he fled to Hakodate, Hokkaidō, fought in the Battle of Hakodate at the Goryōkaku star fort under the leadership of Enomoto Takeaki and Ōtori Keisuke achieving fame for his bravery. But following the Shōgitai’s surrender, he was handed over to the authorities in the Takada domain. In the eighth year of Meiji, with the intention of making a living in the way that he was fond of, went to the capital and lived in Yushima-Tenjin town. He became an artist for the Kaishin Shimbun, and on the side, produced many nishiki-e pieces. Regarding his artistic background: when he was younger he studied the Kanō school of painting, but later switched to ukiyo-e and studied with a disciple of Keisai Eisen; and next joining the school of Utagawa Kuniyoshi , called himself Yoshitsuru. After Kuniyoshi’s death, he studied with Kunisada. Later he studied nigao-e with Toyohara Kunichika, and called himself Isshunsai Chikanobu. He also referred to himself as Yōshū.
    Among his disciples were Nobukazu (楊斎延一 Yōsai Nobukazu?) and Gyokuei (楊堂玉英 Yōdō Gyokuei?) as a painter of images on fans (uchiwa-e), and several others. Gyokuei produced Kajita Hanko. Since only Nobukazu now is in good health, there is no one to succeed to Chikanobu’s bijin-ga, and thus Edo-e, after the death of Kunichika, has perished with Chikanobu. It is most regrettable." — trans. by Kyoko Iriye Selden (October 2, 1936, Tokyo-January 20, 2013, Ithaca), Senior Lecturer, Department of Asian Studies, Cornell University, ret'd.
  2. ^ British Museum, [1] woodblock print. Portrait of the Meiji Emperor
  3. ^ Library of Congress [2]
  4. ^ 改進新聞 (かいしんしんぶん)
  5. ^ "Tenmei, 1781-1789 :: Chikanobu and Yoshitoshi Woodblock Prints". Ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  6. ^ "Keio, 1865-1867 :: Chikanobu and Yoshitoshi Woodblock Prints". Ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  7. ^ Miner, Odagiri and Morrell in the Princeton Companion to Classical Japanese Literature, pp. 9, 27.
  8. ^ Gobrich, Marius. "Edo to Meiji: Ukiyo-e artist Yoshu Chikanobu tracked the transformation of Japanese culture," Japan Times. March 6, 2009; excerpt, "We think the characteristics of the artist start to show around the late 1880s.... Before this, in his early works, he tends to imitate his teacher, Toyohara Kunichika."
  9. ^ Gobrich, "Edo to Meiji," Japan Times. March 6, 2009; excerpt, " One picture shows people escaping from a collapsing house during the Ansei Edo Earthquake of 1855, which reportedly killed over 6,000 people and destroyed much of the city. What gives this image a particularly timeless feel is the fact that the noble lady of the house — in accordance with the rules of etiquette and social decorum — has taken the trouble to get into her palanquin first before being carried out of the collapsing house.."
  10. ^ "Yōshū Chikanobu [obituary]," Miyako Shimbun, No. 8847 (October 2, 1912). p. 195; Gobrich, "Edo to Meiji," Japan Times. March 6, 2009; excerpt, "[Chikanobu] was originally a samurai vassal of the Tokugawa Shogunate who saw action in the Boshin War (1868-69), which ended the country's feudal system."
  11. ^ British Museum, Meiji shoshi nenkai kiji, 1877; woodblock print, triptych. Saigo Takamori and his followers in the Satsuma rebellion
  12. ^ "Victory at Asan, Korea; Sino-Japanese war :: Chikanobu and Yoshitoshi Woodblock Prints". Ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu. 2001-02-26. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  13. ^ Cavaye, Ronald et al. (2004). A Guide to the Japanese Stage: from Traditional to Cutting Edge, pp. 138-139., p. 138, at Google Books
  14. ^ The ōban tate-e (大判竪絵) format is ~35 x 24.5 cm or about 14" x 9.75" and is vertically oriented. For further information about woodblock formats, please see Woodblock printing in Japan
  15. ^ The ōban yoko-e (大判竪絵) format is ~24.5 x ~35 cm or about 9.75" x 14" and is horizontally positioned. For further information about woodblock formats, please see Woodblock printing in Japan
  16. ^ referring in this case to more than three panels
  17. ^ one of which is a five panel print from the series, "The Imperial Ladies' Quarters at Chiyoda Palace" entitled, konrei (こんれい) The Marriage Ceremony. The other is a very well known nine-panel print entitled Meiji Sanjū-Ichi-Nen Shi-Gatsu Tōka: Tento Sanjū-Nen Shukugakai Yokyō Gyōretsu no Zu (明治31年4月10日: 奠都30年祝賀會餘興行列の図), The Procession in Commemoration of the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Transfer of the Capital.
  18. ^ The kakemono-e (掛物絵) format is ~71.8 x ~24.4 cm or about 28.3" x 9.6" and consists of two vertically positioned oban tate-e prints joined on the shorter side. For further information about woodblock formats, please see Woodblock printing in Japan
  19. ^ "鳥追阿松海上新話. 初編". Worldcat.org. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]