Yoshitoshi: Competition of Drunks (Sold)
Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Title: Competition of Drunks
Series: Comparison of Drunken Stupors (Kigen kurabe)
The prints in this rare series concern drunken conversations or monologues by people of various occupations. The writing is by Ryûtei Tanehiko (1783-1842), most famously the author of Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji. This was intended as a chûban series, but here is an uncut example of two designs. The top half shows a sprawling man with his tattooed right arm stretched out, kicking over a tray with a saké bottle underneath it. It depicts a craftsman in the top half, and a "hakoya" (a.k.a. "hakomochi") in the bottom half. "Hakoya" (literally "box-carrier" or "boxman") was a man who assisted a geisha by carrying her shamisen and other items to where she was to perform, also perhaps assisting her in getting dressed and so on --- we can see from the man's lipstick that he may not have been particularly interested in geisha as sexual objects, to put it delicately...
Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Crease along midline.
Literature: Keyes numbers 270.13 and 270.14.
Signature: Ôju Yoshitoshi (giga?)