Modern Select Dolls

(T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi, 當盛見立人形之内)

1855-1856

 

This group of prints illustrates carved groups of ôdollsö displayed at Kannon Temple in Asakusa.á Although the word ningy˘ is usually translated as ôdollsö, these lifelike dolls (iki-ningy˘) were in fact extremely realistic life-sized clothed statues.á This print series is listed as number 185 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961).á The titles of the prints vary.á Unless otherwise noted, the individual sheets are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ˘ban, and were intended to be placed side-by-side to form diptychs and triptychs.á Kuniyoshi also designed Six Fashionable Female Poetic Immortals, a series of single sheet ˘ban prints of lifelike dolls.

Title: The Lonely House (Hitotsuya no zu, 當盛見立人形之内 一ツ家之圖)

Description: This ever popular story tells of a mad woman who ran a boarding house where she killed and devoured young women until one of them was saved by, the goddess of mercy (on the left).

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Publisher: Honmo

Title: Lifelike Dolls of the Hag of Hitotsuya at Adachigahar (風流人形の内 一ツ家の図 祐天上人)

Description: The Hag of Hitotsuya with her pregnant victim and goddess Kwannon

Inset: The god Fud˘ My˘-˘ with the child Hotoro

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Publisher: J˘shű-ya Juz˘

This triptych is another version of the same scene, which is listed as T318 in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982).

Date: March-April 1855

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

Title: Fashionable Living Dolls (Fűyű ningy˘, 風流人形)

Description: This is a close-up version of the same group of dolls

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Publisher: Daikoku-ya Kinnosuke

 

NOTE: The individual sheets comprising this triptych are each about 10 by 7 inches (25 by 18 centimeters), a size known as chűban.

Title: The Lonely House (Adachi-ga-hara hitotsuya no zu, 安達原一ツ家之圖)

Description: The Hag of the Lonely House with a female victim trussed up on the floor and an apparition of the goddess Kwannon behind

Date: Dragon 3, April 1856

Publisher: ďmi-ya Kyűsuke (Kyűjir˘)

 

NOTE: This triptych is listed as T330 in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982).

Title: Lifelike Dolls of Sarutahiko, Uzume-no-mikoto and the Hag of Hitostuya at Adachigahara

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

Title: Fashionable Living Dolls (Fűryű iki ningy˘, 風流生人形)

Description: Uzume-no-mikoto and the Hag of Hitostuya at Adachigahara

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Publisher: Kazusa-ya Iwaz˘

Title: Fashionable Lifelike Dolls (Fűryű ningy˘ zukushi, 風流人形盡)

Publisher: Hayashi-ya Sh˘gor˘

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Kosanry˘ Ichij˘sei deflecting flying arrows with two swords

Tammeijir˘ Gensh˘go half naked grappling underwater with an armored foe

Dait˘ Kansh˘ (大刀關勝) standing on the shore with an enormous glaive

Here is a slightly different version of the same group of dolls.á This version was intended to be viewed as individual prints since the backgrounds are not continuous.

Title: Modern Lifelike Dolls (T˘sei iki ningy˘, 當聖生人形)

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Publisher: Ise-Yoshi

 

Left-hand panel courtesy of John Rose and Auction Ukiyo-e Ltd.

Title: Lifelike Dolls of Foreign Strangers and the Maruyama Courtesans Now on View at Okuyama in Asakusa (浅草奥山 生人形)

Publisher: Izutsu-ya Sh˘kichi

Title: Lifelike Dolls of Foreign Strangers and the Maruyama Courtesans Now on View at Okuyama in Asakusa (浅草奥山生人形))

Date: Fifth month of 1855

Publisher: Izutsu-ya Sh˘kichi

Title: Living dolls at Okuyama in Asakusa (Asakusa Okuyama iki-ningy˘, 浅草奥山生人形)

Description: Foreigners with long arms, long legs, and holes in their chests

Date: 4th month of 1855

Publisher: Izutsu-ya Sh˘kichi

Title: Lifelike Dolls of Three Beauties of the Three Kingdoms (Ningy˘ no uchi to ten cho san bijin)

Description: These three Chinese beauties represent the Wei (also known as Cao Wei), Han (also known as Shu Han or Shu) and Wu (also known as Eastern Wu) kingdoms that coexisted between the years 184 and 280 C. E.á

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Publisher: Honmo

Title: Simulated Dolls in the Latest Style: Kume the Immortal (T˘sei mitate ningy˘ no uchi: Kume no Sennin, 當盛見立人形之内 粂の仙人)

Description: The Daoist immortal Kume, who had the power of flight, fellľboth literally and spirituallyľafter staring at a partially exposed washerwoman

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Publisher: Honmo

Title: Lifelike Dolls of the God Sumiyoshi and Priest Yűten

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

Title: The Upstairs Parlor of a Brothel (Nikai zashiki no zu, 當盛見立人形の内á 二かい座敷の図)

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Description: A brothel scene

Publisher: Honmo

Title: Fashionable Living Dolls (Fűryű iki ningy˘, 風流生人形)

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Description: Minamoto no Tametomo seated on a rock drinking sake (centre) as two demons (right) attempt to bend his giant bow, and two attendants (left) watch in amazement

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

Image courtesy of Louise AriŰns Kappers and C.P.J. van der Peet Japanese Woodblock Prints

Title: Fashionable Living Dolls (Fűryű iki ningy˘, 風流生人形)

Description: A scene in a brothel

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

 

NOTE: The figure with exposed breasts in front of a mirror is Mayuzumi, a Yoshiwara courtesan who gave aid during a recent earthquake.áá

Title: áFashionable Living Dolls (Fűryű ningy˘, 風流人形)

Description: Brothel scene with a courtesan having her hair done and another with a pipe and a seated man with pox on his face

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Publisher: Daikoku-ya Kinnosuke

 

NOTE: The individual sheets comprising this triptych are each about 10 by 7 inches (25 by 18 centimeters), a size known as chűban.

Title: Figures of the Loyal Retainers (Gishi ningy˘, 義士人形)

Description: áFight between the r˘nin and Moronoĺs retainers with a half-dressed woman on the ground

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Publisher: Ebi-ya Rinnosuke

Title: Figures of the Loyal Retainers (Gishi ningy˘, 義士人形)

Description: The r˘nin attacking Kobayashi Heihachiro in Moronoĺs palace

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Publisher: Ebi-ya Rinnosuke

Characters: Left sheet: Yoshida Sadaemon Kanesada (吉田定右衛門兼貞) and ďboshi Rikiya Yoshikane (大星力弥良兼)

Center sheet: ďtaka Gengo Tadao (大高玄吾忠雄)

Right sheet: Oribe Yahei Kanamaru (織部矢兵衛金丸) and Hara G˘emon Mototoki (原郷右衛門元辰)

Play: Kanadehon Chűshingura

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Theater: This triptych illustrates a group of carved ôdollsö displayed at Kannon Temple in Asakusa.

Publisher: Ebi-ya Rinnosuke

Title: Pictures of Fashionable Dolls (Fűryű ningy˘ no zu, 風流人形之圖)

Description: Two women fleeing the forty-seven R˘ninĺs attack on Moranaoĺs palace

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Publisher: Mikawa-ya Rihei

Title: Doll Parodies ( Ningy˘ mitate, 人形見立)

Subtitle: Shinto, Confucianism and Buddhism (Shinjubutsu, 神儒佛)

Description: The Buddhist saint Hinzuru (right) dances with the Shinto deity Uzume, whilst Confucius and Mencius play go in the background, waited on by attendants

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Publisher: Daikoku-ya Kinnosuke

Title: áLifelike Fashionable Dolls (Fűryű ningy˘ no uchi, 風流人形之内)

Subtitle: Watonai, O-tsuji, and Hotato (和藤内, お津ぢ, 坊太郎)

Description: áThe child Hotoro (left) sits with an opened scroll before him, watching his nurse O-tsuji (right) perform penitence under a waterfall

Inset: The pirate Watonai restraining a tiger

Date: 3rd month of 1856

Publisher: J˘shű-ya Juz˘

Title: Fashionable Living Dolls (Furyu ningyo, 風流人形)

Description:á A scene from a kabuki play about Iwafuji and Ohatsu

Date: 2nd month of 1856

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

Title: Fashionable Living Dolls (Fűryű iki ningy˘, 風流生人形)

Description: The strong woman Kaneko Kugutsune (also called O Kane or Omi no O Kane ) stopping a runaway horse

Date: c. 1856

Publisher:

 

NOTE: This is a hanshita-e (final drawing for a print) that was never published,

This 1856 triptych by Kuniyoshiĺs student Yoshiiku shows nine scenes of lifelike dolls.

This is a photograph of contemporary lifelike dolls (iki-ningy˘) that are similar to those seen by Kuniyoshi.á Its title is T˘rei (Winter Loveliness), and it was created by the master doll maker, Hirata G˘y˘, in 1958.

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