Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国)

Print: Twilight Snow at Mokuboji (Mokuboji bosetsu木母寺暮雪)
from the series Eight Views of Edo (Edo hakkei - 江戸八景)

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Dates: circa 1820,created
Dimensions: 30.0 in,14.625 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblcok print

Signed: Gototei Kunisada ga
Publisher: Yamamotoya Heikichi
(Marks 595 - seal 04-007)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: Waseda University - left panel only; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington - right panel only; Beaux-arts de Paris - left panel; Beaux-arts de Paris - center panel; Beaux-arts de Paris - right panel; Google map - Mokuboji, Tokyo; National Museum of Scotland - right panel; National Museum of Scotland - middle panel; National Museum of Scotland - left panel;

Physical description:

In this writer's opinion, this triptych is one of the gems of the Lyon Collection. There are many, but this one strikes a particular note of elegance and charm. Three beautiful women are disembarking near the Uehan, a particularly famous restaurant on the grounds of the Mokubo temple. Perhaps they are their to dine or to 'work' the place. A man and a woman, in the upper right of the right-hand panel, are carefully watching there arrival from inside one of the buildings.

In the background on the left, just beyond the arched bridge is the Gozensaihata (御前栽畑), It had originally been used by the Shogun as a place for falconry. Then in about 1650 it became a garden which supplied vegetables to the Shogun's court for a considerable length of time, but perhaps not until the 1820s.

Below and just beyond the bridge on the right are two other boats used most likely to ferry customers back and forth. One ferryman in a straw coat is seen standing by his tiller. He is like a cabby lined up waiting for his next fare.

"Three geishas arrive by boat at the grounds of the Mokuboji temple on the Uchikawa inlet, in the northern part of Edo. It is late winter and snow is falling heavily as night closes in. The women are probably on their way to the Uehan restaurant, named after its owner, Uekiya Hanemon.It is the most famous of several restaurants located in the vicinity of the temple.

This series of eight triptychs depicts women of Edo and compares them with the eight traditional views of Lake Biwa."

Quoted from: Kunisada's World by Sebastian Izzard, p. 78.

Izzard identifies the publisher of this triptych as Yamamoto Kyūbei (Marks 593 - seal 04-008). However, we have assigned it to Yamamotoya Heikichi (Marks 595 - seal 04-007). Their seals are almost exactly the same. However, if Andreas Marks is correct then it must be the latter since the consensus is that this triptych dates from ca. 1820 and Yamamoto Kyūbei was believed to have published between ca. 1805-11.

There is a beautiful fresh colored example of this triptych in the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde in Leiden. It is reproduced in brilliant color in Kunisada's World, pp. 78-79.


The right and center panels were used as the design of the book jacket of The Edward Burr van Vleck Collection of Japanese Prints. This is a catalogue of the collection that now makes up the bulk of the ukiyo prints in the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin.