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25. Yamaguchi Sôken (1759-1818) & Ôta Nampo (1749-1823)
Bijin and attendant
Signed: Shokusanjin
Technique: colours on silk 111,4 x 33
Mounting: brown bronze damask
black lacquered rollers, 186 x 47
Box: authorized in 1843 and again in 1850 by Ôkura Kôsai (1795-1862)
Condition: except for a few tiny wormholes in very good

The waka reads: 風俗は京と同じ八文字[美肉?]の足は江戸の吉原。
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.

Box signed: Kosekian Kôsai 古昔庵好斎 dated Kaei san jôjun (first 10 days of the year 1850)
Authenticated by Ôkura Kôsai 大倉 好斎 (1795-1862) in 1843 (Mizunoto-u, Tempô 14) .

Sôken belonged to the group of ‘Ôkyo's ten notable pupils’. Before his years with Maruyama Õkyo he studied with his father, the Maruyama painter Yamaguchi Sôgaku. He was a good painter of kachôga and landscape, but he specialized in bijin-ga, women’s portraits, in the Ukiyô-e Kansai style.

Roberts p. 161
Araki p.1532
Hiller p. 106-116 (# 69-79)
Kyoto '98 p. 296 # 3-25, 26, 4-1,8, 10, 11,5-8, 11, 13,17

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.

Availability: On Request