Kokunimasa: The Great Earthquake of October 28, 1891 (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Utagawa Kokunimasa (1874-1944)
Title: The Great Earthquake of October 28, 1891
Date: 1881

Heart-wrenching scenes of the destruction wrought by the earthquake in Nagoya on October 28, 1891. We see a village transformed into a disaster area before our eyes, with destroyed buildings lying askew and escaping people running for safety. The telegraph wires seem to present an additional hazard, as they are twisting dangerously through the streets. A brick tower to the left is toppling, and many people are attempting to escape collapsed buildings. Only Nagoya Castle stands resolute and upright in the distance, probably a reminder to the Japanese people that in time they will rebound from this tragedy. Showing the artist's own heartbreak, he has placed his signature cartouche on a broken wooden beam, the cartouche itself showing damage. The publisher's cartouche (in oxidized red) is done in the shape of a numazu, or earthquake-causing catfish. Oxidizing lead pigment has been applied to many of the fires to give them a realistic feeling.

Condition:Very good impression, color and condition. With a light backing and minor trimming.
Dimensions: ôban triptych (35.4 x 70.7 cm)
Publisher: Fukada Kumajiro
Signature: Kokunimasa