Gather Together Pictures (yaso-e)

1847-1848

Each of these prints bears a different title in a rectangular red cartouche.  The text above the heads is sometimes humorous with many puns (kyôbun).  These prints are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban.

Kuniyoshi - Men Join to Form a Man, Looks Fierce but is really nice

 

Title: At first glance he looks fierce, but he is really a kind person (Mikake wa koi-i tonda iku hitoda, みかけはこわいがとんだいい人だ)

Publisher: Fujioka-ya Hikotarô

 

Kuniyoshi - Gather Together Pictures (yoso-e), Looks Fierce but is really nice (Mikake wa koi-i tonda iku hitoda) KEYBLOCK

 

This is a key block print for the above design.  It is an impression pulled from the first woodblock made by a carver from the artist’s original drawing.  The artist would write instructions for each color on a separate key block print, and the woodblock for each color was cut using one of these as a guide.  Registration marks (kento) are characteristically found on Japanese key block prints (the backwards ‘L’ in the right lower corner and the bar on the right side near the top).  Kento are cut in each woodblock, so that the paper can be properly aligned on each woodblock during printing.  In addition to being a guide for carving the color woodblocks, the key block was also used to apply black ink (usually) in the printing process.  Note that the fabric design is not included on the key block print and does not have a black outline.

Kuniyoshi - Gather Together Pictures (yoso-e), People join together to form another (Hito Katamatte hito ni naru) yellow cartouche

 

Title: Men join together to form another man (Hito katamatte hito ni naru, 人かたまって人になる)

Publisher: Yamato-ya Kyűbei

 

Kuniyoshi - Gather Together Pictures (yoso-e), People join together to form another (Hito Katamatte hito ni naru)

 

Another state of the above design with a red title cartouche

Kuniyoshi - Gather Together Pictures (yoso-e), Tricky Fellow fond of Mischief

 

Title: A tricky fellow fond of mischief (Hito o baka ni shita hito da, 人をばかにした人だ)

Publisher: Yamato-ya Kyűbei of Kawagashi

 

Image courtesy of Richard A. Waldman of The Art of Japan

 

Rat for the eyes; Ox for hair; Tiger for eyebrows; Hare for nose; Dragon birthmark; Snake mouth; Horse ear; Goat character on costume; Cock hair; Monkey birthmark; Dog head; Hog crest on back made of tusks

 

Title: He looks young although he is made-up of the twelve signs for the years (Toshi ga yote mo wakai hito da, 年が寄っても若い人だ)

Publisher: Iba-ya Sensaburô

 

NOTE: This print contains the twelve signs of the Buddhist zodiac.  The head is a dog; the nose is a rabbit; the mouth is a snake; the left eye is a rat; the hair is composed of a cock and an ox; the eyebrows are tiger tails; a dragon and a monkey compose the birthmark on the forehead; the left ear is a horse; the character on the costume is a sheep is; and the crest on the costume is the tusks of a pig.

Kuniyoshi - Gather Together Pictures (yoso-e), Old-looking Young People (var)

 

Title: Even though she looks old, she is really young (Toshiyori no na wakai hito da, 年よりのような若い人だ)

Publisher: Fujioka-ya Hikotarô

 

Kuniyoshi - Men Join to Form a Man Old-looking Young People

 

This is another edition of the above print.

 

This print and the three following images were published by Izumi Katsujirô about 1891 from newly cut woodblocks.

 

 

 

Kuniyoshi - Men Join to Form a Man,People join together to form another (Hito Katamatte hito ni naru), A person as a person should be

 

Title: A Person as a person should be (Tadajiki nahito, 正じきな人)

 

This preparatory drawing was never made into a woodblock print.  The object in the right upper corner that resembles a bell is a rear view of a sitting man with a long unraveled loincloth. 

Kuniyoshi - Men get together to make a Textile for Fun (blue), 1840-42

Title: Textile Pattern of People to Stop Your Yawning (欠留人物更紗, Akubidome jinbutsu sarasa)

Date: c. 1842

Publisher: Yamamoto Heikichi

Kuniyoshi - Men get together to make a Textile for Fun

This is another state of the above print, courtesy of Horst Graebner

Arcimboldo - Spring

Arcimboldo - Winter (Kunsthistorisches, Vienna)

Here are two composite portraits by the Italian (Milan) painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593) for comparison.  The one on the left is titled ‘Spring’, and the one on the right is titled ‘Winter’.

Yoshifuji -  53 Stations (Gojusan tsugi no uchi), cat-witch of Okabe from the Tôkaidô

Yoshifuji - Kittens Gather Together to Become a Mother Cat (Koneko yoriatsumatte oya ni naru),

These two prints are by Kuniyoshiʼs student Yoshifuji.  The one on the left shows the cat-witch of Okabe, and the one on the right is titled ‘Kittens Gather Together to Become a Mother Catʼ (Koneko yoriatsumatte oya ni naru).

CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO MAIN PAGE

 

KuniyoshiProject