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  • Thumbnail for Main Building at Meiji Shrine.
    Main Building at Meiji Shrine.

    The main building at the Meiji Shrine on a sunny day.

  • Thumbnail for Cotton robe-front view
    Cotton robe-front view

    Robe made of Japanese cotton and old Japanese kimonos with complex embroidered decorations on the front and back. From Hokkaido.

  • Thumbnail for Ceramic vase (handle detail)
    Ceramic vase (handle detail)

    This is an example of Japanese exported ceramics called “Satsuma ware,†which is characterized by eggshell-colored, clay bodies with finely crackled transparent glazes and painted decoration in gold and other warm tones. After the 1873 Vienna world fair, Satsuma ware became popular and spread to different cities in Japan. However, Satsuma wares were largely produced in Kyoto, Tokyo, and Yokohama. The motifs, which somehow function as a display for different kinds of ceramics/cups/plate, attempted to impress the viewers (foreigners) with the wealth of the discoveries and purchases.

  • Thumbnail for Photo Album of Osaka and Kobe with Gold Lacquer Decorated Cover (cover view)
    Photo Album of Osaka and Kobe with Gold Lacquer Decorated Cover (cover view)

    H: 10.75", W: 14", D: 2.25". Relief design of geese and flora with stream on front; Ivory and mother-of-pearl inlay; back decorated with insects and plants in gold leather spine; hand tinted photographs of places, mainly in Osaka and Kobe, Japan; Inside inscription reads: "Presented to N.W. Utley and Wife by Rev. C.B. Moseley; Aug 9, 1890, Kobe, Japan."

  • Thumbnail for Two actors in the roles of divinities
    Two actors in the roles of divinities by Kogyo, Tsukioka

    Two actors in cloudy space wearing masks. Color woodblock print; 9†x 14â€.

  • Thumbnail for Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages)
    Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages) by Chikanobu, Toyohara (1837-1912)

    Second two images of women from bound accordion-fold album of 30 woodblock prints with colophon. One half of full series of 50 prints depicting Japanese women of different historical periods highlighting their hairstyles and modes of dress.

  • Thumbnail for Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages)
    Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages) by Chikanobu, Toyohara (1837-1912)

    Seventh set of two images of women from bound accordion-fold album of 30 woodblock prints with colophon. One half of full series of 50 prints depicting Japanese women of different historical periods highlighting their hairstyles and modes of dress.

  • Thumbnail for Actor on Walkway; Scene from Chikubushima play
    Actor on Walkway; Scene from Chikubushima play by Kogyo, Tsukioka

    Actor in elaborate costume and mask with long red hair. Published by Matsuki Heikichi. Color woodblock print. Color woodblock print; 9†x 14â€.

  • Thumbnail for Kabuki fight scene with pyrotechnics
    Kabuki fight scene with pyrotechnics by Ginko Adachi (1874-1895)

    Actors ascending through stage trap door amid fireworks. Color woodblock print;9" x 14".

  • Thumbnail for Sakura Sogoro leaving his Family
    Sakura Sogoro leaving his Family by YoshitoshiTsukioka

    Diptych. The subject is Sakura Sogoro (1597-1645) taking leave of his family. He was on his way to ask alleviation of taxes from Shogun Ietsuna, for which misdemeanour he and his whole family were executed in 1645. First he and his wife were forced to see their three sons being beheaded, then they themselves were crucified. Color woodblock print; image: 18 3/8†x 13 1/4†(46.6 cm x 34.8 cm). on two 14 3/4†x 10†(37.5 cm x 25.5 cm) sheets.

  • Thumbnail for Vase with Stylized Flowers and Phoenix Design
    Vase with Stylized Flowers and Phoenix Design

    Cloisonne enamels over metal base. H: 7 1/". Brightly-colored vessels such as this were made for export to the West where they found great favor with collectors.

  • Thumbnail for Kabuki Scene
  • Thumbnail for Eikan-do shrine, building
    Eikan-do shrine, building

    A building at Eikan-Do shrine in Kyoto stands against a cloudy sky.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze vessel
    Bronze vessel

    In ancient Japan (prior to the Meiji era, 1868-1912), metalwork was solely for swords and Buddhist statues. During the Meiji era, a decree abolishing sword-wearing and the restoration of Shintoism, the original religion of Japan, as the national religion caused the making of metalwork to shift to objects for export and home consumption; the functions of objects and subject of decoration tended to be secular. This vase, designed with a style of Chinese bronze vessel, bears 8 different scenes on the entire body. There are four large panels, with subjects ranging from figurative to seascapes, on the main body of the vessel, and four small horizontal scenes, landscapes and seascapes are the subjects (possibly a display of the four seasons), on the bottom. The designs are done in relief. The borders of the panels are also ornamented with plant patterns, chrysanthemums and gingko tree leaves in particular common Japanese floral motif. A great deal of artistic appeal and distinctive styles are the trademark of Meiji metalwork.

  • Thumbnail for Cotton hood-side view 2
    Cotton hood-side view 2

    Hood made of Japanese cotton and old Japanese kimonos. From Hokkaido.

  • Thumbnail for Ivory Figure with a Spinning Face
    Ivory Figure with a Spinning Face

    Noh performer with long hair holds bells for Shinto Dance in his raised arm. The figure's head spins up from a calm face to that of a demon like face; figure's garment has a geometric/floral motif; he holds a fan in his left had and wears a cap on his head; his hair is tied back with a bow which is broken on one side.

  • Thumbnail for Japanese double gourd shape miniature vase with design of figures in courtly garb lined up for a festival procession (side 2)
    Japanese double gourd shape miniature vase with design of figures in courtly garb lined up for a festival procession (side 2)

    Height: 12 cm. This is a very fine quality piece of Satsuma-style ware made for export to the West in the late 19th century, a time when Japan was avidly promoting production of such wares to expand their economy internationally. The piece does not have the Satsuma mark, and hence should not be defined as "Satsuma ware" proper, but was made at a high quality kiln that imitated this popular export ware product. Probably from a kiln in Kyoto, Osaka, or Tokyo.

  • Thumbnail for Ivory Figure with a Spinning Face
    Ivory Figure with a Spinning Face

    Noh performer with long hair holds bells for Shinto Dance in his raised arm. The figure's head spins up from a calm face to that of a demon like face; figure's garment has a geometric/floral motif; he holds a fan in his left had and wears a cap on his head; his hair is tied back with a bow which is broken on one side.

  • Thumbnail for Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages)
    Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages) by Chikanobu, Toyohara (1837-1912)

    Third set of images of women from bound accordion-fold album of 30 woodblock prints with colophon. One half of full series of 50 prints depicting Japanese women of different historical periods highlighting their hairstyles and modes of dress.

  • Thumbnail for Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages) - colophon
    Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages) - colophon by Chikanobu, Toyohara (1837-1912)

    Bound accordion-fold album of 30 woodblock prints with colophon. One half of full series of 50 prints depicting Japanese women of different historical periods highlighting their hairstyles and modes of dress. Color woodblock print; 9 1/2 x 14 1/2".

  • Thumbnail for Sawamura Tossho as Kino, holding an umbrella in the snow
    Sawamura Tossho as Kino, holding an umbrella in the snow by Kunichika Toyohara (1835-1900)

    1/2 length portrait of kabuki actor Sawamura Tossho in the role of Kino. Color woodblock print; image: 14 1/4†x 9 1/2†(36.2 cm x 23.7 cm), sheet: 14 7/8†x 10†(37.8 cm x 25.5 cm).

  • Thumbnail for Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages)
    Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages) by Chikanobu, Toyohara (1837-1912)

    Sixrth set of two images of women from bound accordion-fold album of 30 woodblock prints with colophon. One half of full series of 50 prints depicting Japanese women of different historical periods highlighting their hairstyles and modes of dress.

  • Thumbnail for Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages)
    Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages) by Chikanobu, Toyohara (1837-1912)

    Thirteenth set of two images of women from bound accordion-fold album of 30 woodblock prints with colophon. One half of full series of 50 prints depicting Japanese women of different historical periods highlighting their hairstyles and modes of dress.

  • Thumbnail for Looking as if She Wants to Change: The Appearance of a Proprietess of the Kaei era (1848-1854) (Kaita-so: Kaei nenkan o kamisan no fuzoku)
    Looking as if She Wants to Change: The Appearance of a Proprietess of the Kaei era (1848-1854) (Kaita-so: Kaei nenkan o kamisan no fuzoku) by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)

    # 18 from the series: Thirty-two Aspects of Customs and Manners (Fuzoku sanjuniso). Woodblock print in ink and colors on paper. Vertical ōban size. This image is a nice, but not great, later printing. Reference: John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's Women: The Woodblock Print Series "Fuzoku Sanjuni so." Boulder, CO: Avery Press, 1986; reprinted in 1995 in association with the University of Washington Press.

  • Thumbnail for Procession of Sparrows (A Japanese fairy tale)
    Procession of Sparrows (A Japanese fairy tale) by Ogata, Gekko

    Processing people in multicolored robes dancing, purple color bled through the paper.