[One Thousand Years of the History of Flowers], circa 1825
Date range: 1819-1830. Signed on block lower left: “Hokuyo ga”; names of subjects inscribed on block upper right. Publisher’s seal lower left: Senri. “The Theatrical World of Osaka Prints” (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1973) dates this Senri seal to c.1831, hence the circa date on this print. A fine oban impression with gauffrage, in fine condition aside from light staining along lower edge, paper wear along edges, and general light toning throughout, with no margins. Any print by this artist is exceedingly rare.
This is a New Year print, evidenced by the extravagant finery in which this tayu, or highest ranking courtesan, parades around Shinmachi in Osaka. The tayu, Chiyohana, is surrounded by her young attendant, Kocho (Little Butterfly) to her left and her older attendant, Sawada, to her right. The crest of the house, Nakaoriya, for which the courtesan works appears in the upper right corner.