I have always been fascinated with Japanese design, and the fabrics (and certainly the design itself) of my bags and pillows and other items–I am currently in the throes of designing scarves using the wonderful kimono silks I have been collecting–all reflect that interest. Many of the Kasuri indigos and all of the silks come directly from the Ichiroya Kimono Flea Market. Recently Ichiroya has added affiliate shops. My favorites: Rikyu, a tea mart with interesting items associated with the tea ceremony –tea accessories and some folk art; Ichiroya Antiques where I have been finding amazing Christmas gifts–an antique red lacquered sewing box and a wonderfully playful clay Bizen rabbit; and most recently a fine arts shop, Shukado, with some marvelous Japanese woodblock prints, from which I have just convinced BW to buy me this extraordinary Kuniyoshi 1852 woodblock print and now have the distinction of having been their first online customer.
Here is the history of my print (with some further translation from the description on the website–my additions in bold type):
The artist is Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)
In the late 1840s, Kuniyoshi began to illustrate actor prints. He produced the 70 Medetai (happy) series in 1852. At the background of a beauty, his pupil depicted well-known specialties from all over Japan. I assume this means that the artist himself completed only the figure of the woman/beauty with pupil/apprentices working on the scene of the pottery workers in the background.
The series title Sankai Medetai zu e , and the title of the piece Atama ga itai (headache) and Satsuma Yakimono are shown to the upper right of the image. The artist signature Kuniyoshi and his seal are shown on the bottom right corner.
In this piece, satsumayaki (a type of Japanese earthenware pottery) and the industrial artists are depicted on the back. In the front, there is a woman who is turning down for headache, but the relationship between the satumayaki and the woman is unknown.