Japanese Woodblock of Battle of Shijōnawate with unknown Date/Artist

Discussion in 'Art' started by rickkeller, Jul 20, 2020.

  1. rickkeller

    rickkeller Member

    I purchased this woodblock from an antique store in Tokyo about 20 years ago. Unfortunately, I lost the receipt that had info about the print (the artist, the date, etc).

    I asked reddit r/translator and someone told me that it is a print of this battle: Kusunoki Masatsura - Battle of Shijōnawate. I have looked at many websites and did a google image search, haven't found this exact print yet.

    Does anyone have any ideas how I can go about tracking down the artist and/or rough date? Full.jpg IMG_2725.jpg IMG_2726.jpg
     
  2. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    Hi @rickkeller and WELCOME! To ME, there is SO much reflection going on in that image, that I personally cannot see the print!! Do you think you can try holding or setting it at a different angle to try to reduce it? Thanks!!:):)
     
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  3. rickkeller

    rickkeller Member

    Yes its really reflective. I tried several times but couldn't get it. I will grab my camera and put a filter on it and re-post in a while
     
    Aquitaine likes this.
  4. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome, @rickkeller,
    I took the liberty of cropping and uploading your image to a site that catalogs Japanese ukiyo-e prints, https://ukiyo-e.org/. They could not find a match for your print, although the reflections may have affected their search function. I did receive the suggestion that you could ask the "Ukiyo-e Q&A community for help":
    http://www.ukiyo-e.se/wwwboard/wwwboard.html
    Using as a reference the url that was generated by uploading the image:
    https://data.ukiyo-e.org/uploads/images/9afade9b299d7ddc37bba85a5aa0da76.jpg

    Here is a link to the actual response that I received:
    https://ukiyo-e.org/upload/9afade9b299d7ddc37bba85a5aa0da76
     
    Figtree3 likes this.
  5. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    Was it already framed when you bought it?

    2 things I'm wondering about - 1) it looks to me like it was originally in a book and has 2 "folds" that do not associate with any of the reflections.
    2) what is the writing ( ... ARMY) upper middle of the image in an open space?
     
  6. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    Maybe, first of all, how about one of our 'translating' members, making sure what those symbols on the right side say?????? @Bakersgma, @blooey and who is Matt?? It IS possible someone mis-identified it thereby totally hindering your search!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
  7. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    I am not a translator. ;)
     
  8. rickkeller

    rickkeller Member

  9. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Neither is blooey.:)
     
  10. rickkeller

    rickkeller Member


    Thanks, I will try this
     
  11. rickkeller

    rickkeller Member

    No it was not professionally framed, he had it in in a display case. I framed it when I bought it

    Sorry I don't se the writing. Where is it at?
     
  12. rickkeller

    rickkeller Member

    You might be right about mistranslation because when I find other woodblock prints of the battle, someone usually has a flag with a symbol that looks like a flower, but in this one, the staff doesn't have anything on the flag but does have a butterfly on the top of the staff.
     
  13. blooey

    blooey Well-Known Member

    Well a much better picture, now at least we can see the image!

    In my opinion this is a pre-Meiji work as the print was made without aniline inks, so guessing 1840-50's or so. Utagawa school IMO, but no signature visible - the three panels of the triptych may not be entirely visible - possibly a signature is hidden under the mat - you can check the size of your visible sections as each panel should be oban size, 15” by 10” (38cm x 25cm)
     
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  14. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    Just below the figure upper center who has 2 lances or rods crossing behind him .
     
  15. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Ukiyo-e prints were often created as three separate prints, triptychs, so not folds from being in a book. I think the "writing" you are seeing are actually small soldiers in the distance.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
    Figtree3 likes this.
  16. rickkeller

    rickkeller Member

    Ok thanks for the tip, I will measure to see if anything is covered. Hopefully not because I had it framed at a shop in Tokyo that used a wooden plank on the back, so don't want to mess with that
     
  17. blooey

    blooey Well-Known Member

    Sometimes censor seals will be in the margins (which if present can be used to effectively date the print) but prints like these are often sold without margins as they are usually from books.
     
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  18. rickkeller

    rickkeller Member

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  19. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Well, it is a start. Perhaps the other two panels that you have will allow someone to identify them if you ask the Ukiyo-e Q&A community.
     
  20. blooey

    blooey Well-Known Member

    Bit of a dilettante site that, IMO
     
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