Kawanabe Kyōsai: Fun print with Tanuki and Thunder God
Artist: Kawanabe Kyōsai
Title: Fun print with Tanuki and Thunder God
Series: Kyosai Manga
Date: 1864/4th month
Humorous print with three small tanzaku scenes. The leftmost scene shows a tanuki hanging from a branch, his testes decorated at the bottom with a mask to scare a hunter, who has thrown down his tobacco pouch and pipe in alarm as he flees. The middle scene shows a mouse on a branch, with the large artist’s seal of Kyosai at the bottom in red. The rightmost scene shows a man who looks like a member of a daimyo procession using his extra long pole to hand back the demon of thunder one of his fallen drum-bolts. According to “Comic Genius; Kawanabe Kyosai”, the success of this series made Kyosai popular as an ukiyo-e artist. Due to the harimaze format, it is also written that Japanese of the time would cut up the prints and use them to patch holes in their shoji screens. It is not known how many designs were published, or in how many editions. This may be from a second edition, as the title is absent from the top of the page.
Condition: Very good impression, color and condition.
Publisher: Tsujiokaya Bunsuke
Literature: See “Comic Genius: Kawanabe Kyosai” (1996), numbers 123-131.