Daphne odora and Mojisuri-so by Kubo Shunman (Japanese, 1757–1820)
Daphne odora (winter daphne) is a species of flowering plant in the family Thymelaeaceae, native to China and Japan. It is an evergreen shrub, grown for its very fragrant, fleshy, pale-pink, tubular flowers, each with 4 spreading lobes, and for its glossy foliage. It rarely fruits, producing red berries after flowering.
Mojisuri should mean scattered.
Gold-Fish in a Glass Bottle by Totoya Hokkei (Japanese, 1780–1850).
Hokkei was originally a fishmonger. After studying Japanese painting with Kano Yosen, he became a pupil of the great master Katsushika Hokusai. Hokkei specialized in surimono (woodblock prints privately commissioned by poetry circles of the wealthy and educated citizens of Edo (Tokyo).
He also created book illustrations. Books in old Japan were produced with the same woodblock technique as single sheets.
In Japan, goldfish is a symbol for peace and fortune due to it being coloured and therefore signifying wealth.
Starting in ancient China, various species of carp have been domesticated and reared as food fish for thousands of years. Some of these normally gray or silver species have a tendency to produce red, orange or yellow color mutations; this was first recorded in the Jin Dynasty (265–420).
In 1603, goldfish were introduced to Japan, where the Ryukin and Tosakin varieties were developed. In 1611, goldfish were introduced to Portugal and from there to other parts of Europe.
During the 1620s, goldfish were highly regarded in southern Europe because of their metallic scales, and symbolized good luck and fortune. It became tradition for married men to give their wives a goldfish on their one-year anniversary, as a symbol for the prosperous years to come. This tradition quickly died, as goldfish became more available, losing their status.
Spring Rain Collection (Harusame shū), vol. 3: Sparrows and Dandelions by Teisai Hokuba (Japanese, 1771–1844)
Japanese White-eyes on a Branch of Peach Tree,” from the Series An Array of Birds (Tori awase), from Spring Rain Surimono Album (Harusame surimono-jō, vol. 3) by Kubo Shunman (Japanese, 1757–1820).
Flat Bowl with Eggs by Unidentified Artist.
I would love to include the English translation of these surimonos; if anyone can help with the translating I would be greatly appreciative.
Wine Pot, Wine Cup and Folded Fan by Yashima Gakutei (Japanese, 1786?–1868).
Yashima Gakutei was a good Ukiyo-e craftsman, but was better known as a writer and poet. He was a kyoka-poet, putting his own poems in his prints.
Today’s watercolor is a copy of a woodblock print (surinomo (1)) made by Teisei Hokuba.
Hokuba, who often signed his name Teisei Hokuba, was born and lived in Edo. He was one of the most successful pupils of the great master Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849). He was a prolific artist, almost up to his teacher’s caliber.
He was a very good ukiyo-e painter, as well as printmaker and illustrator. He designed many surimono and a number of illustrations for poetry (kyoka (2)) books and novels, and is known mainly for his paintings of beauties (bijin-ga).
Although he was very prolific, no attempt has been made so far to document his large body of work. So any information about him is welcome.
Here is the link to the original:
(1) Surinomo beeing privately published prints
(2) Kyοka beeing mad or satirical illustrated poems