Utamaro: Saigû nyôgoUtamaro: Saigû nyôgo
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Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806)

A young girl dressed as the Heian era imperial princess and poetess Saigû no nyôgo (929-985). To complete the mitate (parody), one of her two older companions holds up a small portable Heian-style kichô curtain behind her, the other one carries a miniature koto in allusion to a famous poem by the poet.

Title: Saigû nyôgo

From a series of Children as the Thirty-six Immortal Poets

Signature: Utamaro hitsu

Censor: Kiwame

Date: c. 1806

Size: Vertical Oban, 39 x 25,5 cm

Fine impression. Colours faded. Unbacked. Faint creasing, minor staining, and light soiling in top and bottom margins. Overall very good state.

From a rare mitate series of children parodying the 36 famous poets. Only a few prints are known. Collia, p. 142, no. 89 lists only 3 prints (not this one). Apart from editions with the seal of the publisher Izumoji Manjirô (Shôkakudô) and the series title "Kodomo asobi sanjûrokkasen, sanjûroku mai tsuzuki" (the 36 famous poets as child's play, a set of 36 prints) there is obviously an edition from the same printing blocks, but without title and publisher seals, see Brooklyn Museum no. 82.191 (mistakenly assigned to the wrong series) and Bonham's auction March 19, 2013, lot 2004. Marks, Publishers, p. 178, no. 183.