Kawanabe Kyosai 河鍋 暁斎: Station Okitsu at Night (Sold)

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Artist: Kawanabe Kyōsai 河鍋 暁斎
Title: Station Okitsu at Night

An interesting view of Station Okitsu, from the series known as the Processional Tokaido, which was  commissioned by the authorities to promote the shogun’s procession from Edo to Kyoto in 1863. Sixteen of the major print artists of the time were enlisted for this large project, from the youthful Yoshitoshi to the elderly Kunisada. Here Kyosai has chosen to capture an indirect view, informed with his sharp sense of humor. The shogun’s procession can be seen on the far bank of the river, the rows of men in straw rain capes and the standards wrapped agains the falling rain. The focus in the foreground is of four blind men who are walking in the shallows; the leader has just dropped his long cane. They are holding on to each other, and behind them are two men with switches who seem to be shouting at them. It would seem that the officials are enforcing the rule that all persons must bow down in obeisance towards the shogun.  We can see all the sighted travelers observing the scene doing just that.

Series: Scenes of Famous Places along the Tokaido Road (also known as the Processional Tokaido) Tokaido meisho fukei

Date: 1863
Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. 
Dimensions:  34.8 x 23.5 cm
Publisher: Fukuchu
Signature: By Request, Seisei Shumaro
Literature: Marks, "When the Shogun...," Andon 81 (2007), #18 (56).