- Museum number
Object: Fugen zo 普賢像 (Statue of Fugen)
Series: Setsugekka 雪月花 (Snow, Moon and Flowers)
Illustrated book, folding album, colour woodblock print. 1 volume for flowers from series of "Snow, Moon and Flowers". Ninety-four poems all on theme of cherry-blossom. Covers: Original, dark blue, painted in gold with bands of mist, and in silver and orange with rows of flowers. Title slip: Original, printed on buff slip pasted in top left corner of cover. Contents: 11 leaves: 1 double-page preface, 5 double-page illustrations, 4 double pages of poems, 1 double page of poem and publisher's colophon. Illustrations: 1. Central boulevard of Yoshiwara pleasure quarter; 2. Hills at Ueno; 3. Drunken revellers returning from flower-viewing; 4. Gotenyama; 5. Flower-viewing in Kyoto. With brass dust, applied gold and gauffrage. Inscribed and signed.
- Production date
- 1790 (third month, preface)
Height: 25.40 centimetres
Width: 18.10 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Asano and Clark 1995
Compiled by Tsuburi Hikaru. This is the volume for flowers from the series of "Snow, Moon and Flowers" and so the ninety-four ‘kyoka’ poems it contains are all on the theme of cherry-blossom. The title derives from the name of a variety of cherry tree. In the preface this is written with characters meaning "Fugen's elephant', since this variety of cherry has two pistils coming out of the flowers which look like the tusks of the elephant on which the Buddhist deity Fugen is habitually seated. Utamaro's illustrations all show famous beauty spots for cherry-blossom, and this is the only one of his colour-printed ‘kyoka’ anthlogies to feature scenes of famous places in this manner. As has been pointed out by Suzuki Juzo, the book was originally planned with the title ‘Hana no kumo’ (Clouds of Blossoms), but this was changed before publication.
Otaka, Sennosuke 尾高鮮之助, "Utamaro no kibyoshi ko, 1-3 歌麿の黄表紙考（一）~（三）", ‘Mizue みづゑ’, 275-277, 1928, 42-43.
‘Kokusho somokuroku 国書総目録’, vol. 1, Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo, 1963-72, pl. 500.
Hillier, Jack, ‘The Art of the Japanese Book’, Sotheby’s Publication, London, 1987, 427-30.
Smith, Lawrence, ‘Ukiyoe: Images of Unknown Japan’, BMP, London, 1988, book no. 26.
‘Hizo Ukiyo-e taikan’「秘蔵浮世絵大観」, gen. ed. Narazaki, Muneshige, vol. 3, Kodansha, Tokyo, 1987-90, 280-284.
Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Berlin.
Keio Gijuku 慶応義塾, Tokyo.
Toyo Bunko 東洋文庫, Tokyo.
Tobacco & Salt Museum, たばこと塩の博物館 Tokyo.
[Main text translated in Japanese below / 以下上記本文日本語訳]
One of three albums of 'kyoka' (comic verse) designed by Utamaro on the classic set of 'Snow, Moon, Flowers'; this is the flowers volume, with illustrations of cherry-viewing in April. The snow is 'Ginsekai' ('The Silver World') and the Moon 'Kyogetsubo' ('The Moon-Mad Monk').
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2013 Apr – Jul, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased from the sale of the Henri Vever collection, Paris, 29th April 1948.
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Japanese Illustrated Book number: JIB.140A