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- [Kairiku Okatame Tsuke].

[Tokyo? 1854]. Woodcut broadside 40x61cm on two sheets joined in the middle. Somewhat shabby with some stains and holes, a couple repaired. Not too bad for a kawaraban. ¶ These illicit illustrated news sheets - kawaraban - for the streets were produced by the million for a couple of hundred years so of course few survive. They were produced for anything more interesting than the drop of a hat and the arrival of the Black Ships, the American squadron commanded by Perry, in 1854 eclipsed any and all tiresome earthquakes, fires, plages, famines, murders and scandals. For most Japanese this was the same as a squadron of alien space ships arriving on earth now. These prints are the kurofune kawaraban. Perry's ships in the bay and the defensive array of clans with tens or hundreds of thousands of troops along the shorelines was a popular kawaraban subject; this and one similar are the largest and busiest I've seen. The other large version I've seen of this - titled Shinkoku Taihei Take Mori Mata Akira - is the same size, looks similar and features the American sailor/soldier in the corner, but is printed from different blocks with the ships in a different spot.
AUD 850.00 [Appr.: EURO 547.25 US$ 646.89 | £UK 485.75 | JP¥ 71960] Book number 10303

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