Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国) (artist 1786 – 01/12/1865)

Mother and child: Kinryūzan (金竜山) from the series Eight Views of Edo (Edo hakkei no uchi - 江戸八景ノ内)


9.75 in x 14 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese color woodblock print

Signed: Gototei Kunisada ga
Publisher: Nishimura Yohachi
(Marks 391 - seal 01-008)
Censor's seal: kiwame
British Museum
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - a similar print by Eisen from ca. 1822-23 of a bijin with an inset of Kinryūzan
Beaux-arts de Paris

The mother and child are seated next to a kotatsu, a brazier set in the floor filled with hot coals for warmth. There is an Eisen shunga print, also in the Lyon Collection, showing a similar contraption. See #659. In both there is a raised wooden frame covered by a quilt to hold in as much heat as possible.

If you look closely you will see that part of the child's robe is decorated with the toshidama, a motif adopted by Kunisada for many of his personal seals seen on prints. Others of the Utagawa group also used it, but not as much as he did.


Fresh colors in British Museum example


There is another copy of this print in the Worcester Art Museum.

This may be the only print in this series which include a child. Other prints in this series include an inset of Ueno (上野), the Yoshiwara (吉原) and Shinagawa (品川). There are two other prints from this series in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston: Ryōgoku Bridge and Nichō-machi.


There are dozens of prints of Kinryūzan by a wide range of artists: Kiyonobu II, Shigemasa, Shunzan, Eishi, Eisen, Hokuju, Hiroshige I, II and III, Toyokuni I, Toyoharu, Kuninao, Hokusai, Kuniyasu, Shuntōsai, Kuniyoshi, Chikanobu, Kunichika, Kiyochika, Nobukazu and Koitsu. (JSV). That dealer suggests that this series dates from ca. 1817. (JSV)
Nishimuraya Yohachi (西村屋与八) (publisher)
beautiful women (bijin-ga - 美人画) (genre)
boshi-e (母子絵) (genre)