Tsukioka (Taiso) Yoshitoshi (1839-1892).
Bodhidharma (Daruma, the legendary founder of Zen Buddhism) is reading the Iroha Shinbun newspaper, with a black and white cat on his back. He is talking to a young woman dressed in a red robe. She holds a bowl of sake, a toothpick in her mouth, and looks a little tired. Her dress signifies that she is a female Daruma, Onna-Daruma, another word for a courtesan.
Title: Kaika no Daruma (A Civilized Daruma)
Series: Yoshitoshi ryakuga (Yoshitoshi's sketches)
Signature: Yoshitoshi giga (jokingly painted). Seal: Taiso
Publisher: Funazu Chûchjirô, Tokyo. Date: 1882
Original Japanese colour woodblock print. Size: Vertical Chûban, 18 x 23,8 cm (overall)
Very good impression with fresh colours, pigment oxidation in the red of the woman's dress. Old mounting onto a sheet of Japanese ink sketches. Usual vertical centrefold. Two small spots due to paper or printing. Very good condition.
Van den Ing/Schaap, Beauty & Violence, p. 127, no. 42.1; Uhlenbeck/Reigle Newland, Yoshitoshi, Masterpieces from the Ed Freis Collection, Leiden/Boston, 2011, series no. 81. Cf. also MAK Vienna BI 17444-7-11; LACMA M.84.31.344; Philadelphia 1989-47-279.
The term "kaika" in the title refers ironically and ambiguously to the keyword of the period: "Bunmei Kaika" (Modern Civilization and Enlightenment). A modern Daruma reads the newspaper instead of meditating. A particularly attractive print from this humorous print series.