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New Acquisitions at Egenolf Gallery

Utagawa Hiroshige III (1843-1994), The Hisamatsu-za (Meiji-za) Kabuki Theater in Prosperity, 1878, woodblock print, 36.5 x 75 cm

Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints adds new acquisitions to their website daily. Peruse items online or contact the gallery. Egenolf Gallery offers quality ukiyo-e and shin hanga with integrity since 1975. Now located in Southern California, their 18th-20th century artworks are curated for beauty, fine condition and are guaranteed original and as described. Shipping is via Fedex in unbreakable packaging to the US, Europe, Japan and Hong Kong.

An engaging example is this triptych by Hiroshige III of the Kabuki Theater Hisamatsu-za, which offers a detailed view of the bustling main street Kawa-dóri in the district Hisamatsu-cho in Tokyo. In the center we see the impressive building of the theater Hisamatsu-za, flanked on both sides by tea houses. It is very interesting to see Hiroshige III‘s detailed portraits of residents on the street. We see many combinations of old and modern clothing and fashionable western items like umbrellas and handbags. Modern vehicles, jinrikisha (rickshaw) thread their way through the crowded Kawa-dori. The scene is of the rapidly modernizing life of Tokyo during the first decade of Meiji Period (1868-1912) and is a terrific example of a Kaika-e (“picture of Japan–modernizing civilization influenced by the West”) of the period, during which time the country willingly accepted and actively imported many aspects of western civilization into their daily lives.

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