Kokunimasa: The Great Mino-Owari Earthquake in Nagoya in 1891
Artist: Utagawa Kokunimasa (1874-1944)
Title: Earthquake in Nagoya on October 28, 1891 at 6:15 in the Morning. The Real Condition in Gifu and Aichi Provinces after the Great Earthquake
Date: 1881, November
Earthquake in Nagoya on October 28, 1891 at 6:15 in the Morning. The Real Condition in Gifu and Aichi Provinces after the Great Earthquake (Gifu Ken Aichi Ken Dai Jishin Jikkyô). We see Nagoya Castle rising to the right, seemingly immovable while chaos and destruction reign all around. In the center we see wooden homes askew and aflame, and firefighting ladders being deployed to help put out the flames. Toe the left we see a floating bridge that has gone crooked and fires breaking out all over the region. There are place names that indicate each loacation. Even the artist’s signature cartouche has been broken into pieces, indicating that the artist must himself feel shattered by the destruction. The publisher’s cartouche is in the shape of a namazu, or giant catfish, which in earlier times were blamed for earthquakes. This earthquake was known as the Great Mino-Owari Earthquake, and photographs from the period show that Kokunimasa was not exaggerating at the level of destruction.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Unbacked and untrimmed.
Dimensions: ôban triptych (36.5 x 73.5 cm)
Publisher: Fukada Kumajiro