- Museum number
- Object: Haru no iro 春の色 (Spring Colours)
Illustrated book, folding album, one volume. 22 openings containing seven images and 181 poems. Inscribed, signed and sealed. Colour woodblock-printed, with mica.
- Production date
- 1794 (New Year, preface)
Height: 25.40 centimetres
Width: 18.70 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Covers: Original, dark blue, painted in gold with horizontal bands of mist and flowering plum tree. Title slip: Original, printed on buff slip pasted in top left corner of cover. Contents: 1 double-page preface, 1 double-page illustration "Nihombashi at the New Year" by Torin, 1 double page of poem, 1 double-page illustration "Old man playing the flute" by Torin, 1 double page of one Chinese-style poem by Ota Nampo and other poems by seven others, 1 double page of poem, 1 double-page illustration "Mirror-polisher" by Utamaro, 2 double pages of poem, 1 double-page illustration "Momotaro quelling demons" by Rinsho, 2 double pages of poem, 1 double-page illustration "People crossing a log bridge" by Shunman, 1 double-page illustration "Manzai performance" by Rinsho and Shunman, 2 double pages of poems, 1 double-page illustration "Spring hobbyhorses" by Shigemasa, 2 double pages of poems, 1 double page of poem and publisher's colophon.
Hillier and Smith 1980
This is the earliest of a series of New Year annuals, published by Tsutaya, consisting of numerous 'kyoka' supplied by writers of one or other of the leading clubs, accompanied by five or six colour prints by leading artists of the day. Kubo Shunman figures prominently as the designer of a number of the prints and, as a leader of the verse-clubs, he seems to have been something of a guiding spirit in the publication of these anthologies.
In this album the artists are Unzan and Torin (of the Tsutsumi school), Rinsho (a follower of Hanabusa Itcho and a frequent collaborator with Shunman), and Utamaro, Shunman and Shigemasa of the 'Ukiyoe' school.
Odaka, Sennosuke, "Utamaro ehon ko" (A Study of Utamaro's Illustrated Books), 'Ukiyoye no kenkyu', 20, vol. 5, Tokyo, 1928, no. 18.
Asano and Clark 1995
Compiled by Soyoan (Tsuburi Hikaru), with calligraphy by Inaba Kakei, the work contains one hundred and eighty-one ‘kyoka’ poems and seven colour-printed illustrations. On the last but one double page are poems by senior figures from the lineage of Yomo no Akara (Ota Nampo) such as Zeniya Kinrachi, Santotei (Kyoden), Hana no Edozumi, Sakazuki no Komendo, Oya no Urazumi and Shikatsube no Magao, matched against poems by "opponents to the guests" (taihiri) on the final page — six judges from the Hakuraku poetry club: Asakusa no Ichihito, Sandara Boshi, Ryoundo Shimotoke, Asakusa Hoshinori, Mugiwara Fuenari, and Shosado Shumman, as well as Soyoan, the central figure in the Hakuraku club. It can be surmised from this structure that the album was intended as a celebratory spring publication by the Hakuraku club. This is the first of a sequence of colour-printed illustrated kyoka anthologies in ‘mino-ban’ size folding albums, which continued until ‘Otoko toka’ (cat. no. 481) of 1798. In different copies the number of pages of ‘kyoka’ may vary, and the order of the pages is sometimes different.
[Main text translated in Japanese below 以下上記本文日本語訳]
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, 55-56.
‘Kokusho somokuroku’「 国書総目録」, vol. 6, Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo, 1963-72, 684.
Hillier, Jack, ‘The Art of the Japanese Book’, Sotheby’s Publication, London, 1987, 436-8.
Smith, Lawrence, ‘Ukiyoe: Images of Unknown Japan’, BMP, London, 1988, book no. 32.
‘Hizo Ukiyo-e taikan’「秘蔵浮世絵大観」, gen. ed. Narazaki, Muneshige, vol. 3, Kodansha, Tokyo, 1987-90, 220-226.
Chester Beatty Library and Gallery of Oriental Art, Dublin.
Chiba City Museum of Art 千葉市美術館.
Kyoto Univ. 京都大学.
The New York Public Library (3 copies).
Gerhard Pulverer Collection.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2001 30 Jan-8 Apr, London, BM, Japanese Galleries, 'Arts of Japan: Recently repaired paintings, Ukiyo-e IV'
2017 Apr-Dec, London, BM, Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from prehistory to the present'
- Acquisition date
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: JH.171 (Hillier no.)