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Chikanobu Yoshu, Japanese, (1838–1912)
Snow, Moon and Flowers: Snow in Kashino, 8/10/1899
Ink on Paper
12 11/16 in. x 8 1/2 in. (32.23 cm x 21.59 cm)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Meiji (Japan, 1869-1912)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2004.1.26

Alternate Title: Setsugekka: Kashino yuki

Signed: “Yoshu Chikanobu” with red toshidama seal

Colored ink on paper.

Object Description
This later Setsugekka (Snow, Moon, Flowers) series, which numbers at least 30 prints, is rather lyrical in its depiction of seasonal change. Flower petals flutter to the ground as a little dog tugs on its leash. Mist crosses a full summer moon as Niwaka Festival dancers assemble. The caw of migrating birds draws the attention of a woman reading inside to a view through her window of a boatman poling along a snow banked river. The 1899 series is quite different from the 1884-85 set of 40 images specific individuals are identified with particular narratives shown or alluded to in the print design. This later series has a much more abstract quality, with a dominant foreground figure responding in some way to elements of the landscape or interior setting.

In this print "Snow in Kashino" (Kashino yuki), a woman turns to look through a snow bank opening at workers in the background. She is warmly wrapped in layered kimono with an outer shawl of indigo ikat fabric and wears high wooden clogs. Behind her is an older man with a straw overcoat, snow shoes and a snow shovel. In the distance beyond a plank fence, another man is shoveling. Between them, a young man is pulling a sled with items bound up in woven straw mats; the sound of the sled scratching over the snow seems to have attracted the woman's attention. These are country folk surviving the winter weather, and Chikanobu has presented them as confidently living in harsh conditions.

Purchased by Bruce Coats from Matsuda Shoten in Tokyo in March 2004, using Aoki funds.

Matsuki Heikichi

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