Kuniyoshi: Station Mitsuke--Yoritomo Releasing Cranes

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Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi
Title: Mitsuke Station: Yoritomo Releasing Cranes
Series: “Fifty-three Parallels for the Tôkaidô Road”.
Date: ca. 1845

Mitsuke: Minamoto no Yoritomo Releasing Cranes with Identification Tags. The umbrella features an oxidized orange pigment. The crane, a symbol of longevity, was thought to live one thousand years. Here the first shogun of Japan (1192-99) is shown attaching gold bands to the legs of the cranes to determine their age scientifically. He is shown larger than life and watching three banded cranes lift off over the waves as an attendant holds a large umbrella. The final comment in Japanese in the cartouche says “People say that these cranes are flying about this area even today.”

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Repaired binding holes, right side. 
Dimensions: ôban 36.7 x 25.2 cm
Publisher: Iba-ya Kyubei
Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga with his paulawnia seal
LIterature: See Tôkaidô Texts and Tales, edited by Andreas Marks, page 100, number 29B. Robinson S44.30.