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Watanabe Nangaku (1767-1813) & Ôta Nampo (1749-1823)
Bijin and attendant
Signed: Shokusanjin
Technique: colours on silk 111,4 x 33
Mounting: brown bronze damask
186 x 47
Box: authorized in 1850 (as Yamaguchi Soken) by Ôkura Kôsai (1795-1862)
Condition: except for a few tiny wormholes in very good

The waka reads:
Fûzoka ha Kyôto onaji hachimon-ji miniku no ashiha Edo no Yoshiwara

“It is a tradition
The same as is in the capital
Standing on bare feet
Gently positioned as kanji eight,
Here in Edo Yoshiwara.”

’Kanji eight walking’ named after hachimonji (八, the character for the number 8) was a traditional way of walking for the girls in Kyoto’s red light district and from around 1780 was taken over by the girls in Edo’s Yoshiwara.

Nangaku introduced the Maruyama-Shijô style in Edo. He was born in Kyoto and became a pupil of Maruyama Õkyo (1733-1795) of whom he was considered one of his ten best. He was somewhat influenced by Kôrin.
Chinnen, Nanrei and Zeshin were among his Edo pupils.
Nangaku is known for his impromptu sketches.

Hillier pp. 93-99
Roberts p. 118
Araki p. 1332

Apart from being known as a great drinker, Nampo (Shokusanjin) was an extremely important figure in the social and cultural world of Edo around 1800. He became a hero of Edo's Ukiyo-e and literati scene after he successfully published a parodic kyôka anthology at the age of 18. He worked for the Bakufu, the government, but tried to live as a true bunjin all his life.

Araki pp. 1340-1341
Kôsan # 983
Jenkins pp. 53-56, 189-218
Rosenfield '99 B.74
Beerens p. 127 ff

(Ôkura Kôsai is well known as the expert on old paintings during the Tempô period)

Okura Kôsai (origanally Sugahara Nobufuru) took the name Kôsai in 1825. He is the first son of Okura Kyusui. In 1830 Kôsai began working for the Wakayama Tokugawa family in Kii Province (Kishû) where he determined the authenticity of paintings. In 1849 he began authenticating works of art on behalf of the Soko Gakushuin university. In 1851 he received the honorable hokkyô title.

Price: EUR 1,400 / USD 1,554