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Archive: Hironobu (廣信)

(R) Jitsukawa Enjaku I as kagokaki (palanquin bearer) Saichi and Sawamura Kunitaro III as keisei (courtesan) Asatsuma; (L) Jitsukawa Gakujuro II as kagokaki (palanquin bearer) Ukanza in Keisei hana no tôriya, Naka Theater, Osaka
Hironobu ga (on each sheet)
Artist seal: none
(H x W)
chûban diptych nishiki-e
38.0 x 25.5 cm
Excellent (with burnishing)
Excellent color; Very good condition (never backed; nearly mint condition; tiny soiling in top right margin)
Note: Burnishing on robes causes light reflection in photo
Price (USD/¥):
SOLD (Ref #HNB01)


A shikake ("loose flap") composition features a hinged flap that when lifted reveals an alternate view of the design.

A Rare Example! Although found occasionally in Edo printmaking, shikake are virtually unknown in kamigata-e. This is an exceptional opportunity to collect a shikake-e from Osaka!

The plot is unknown to us.


In this example, the courtesan Asatsuma is seated inside a kago ("vehicle basket" or palanquin) with the blinds drawn. Only when the flap is raised can she be seen, along with the actor and role name in red cartouches (compare diptych and detail above). Keisei translates roughly as "castle toppler," a courtesan among the highest ranks, although the term was not used to designate a particular grade of prostitute.

The main part of the play title (hana no tôriya) is given in the large red cartouche at the top of the left sheet. The publisher's seal for Horikame appears in the lower left margin on each sheet. Backgrounds with "plaid" patterns were popular in kamigata-e during the 1860s-1870s.

References: IBKYS-III, no. 439; KNP-7, p. 132; IKB-I, no. 2-560