小舟の女達 (Two Women in a Boat)
Description: Description: There is no absolute confirmation that this design is indeed by Hokusai, as no publisher's records from those days survive, but even the most cursory glance at the image tells the story of whose brush created it.
Dave picked the image from the collection of the Victoria & Albert museum in London, who were most helpful in making a photographic enlargement of the original available for his reproduction work. The staff there at the time (this was in 1999) weren't willing to offer more than that this is 'Hokusai school', as many designs by his followers are known, quite a number of them being in this style, but very few of them, if any, are as well executed as this design.
The print is notable for the delicacy of its colouring, which is a challenge to the printer - too light, and the colours would appear faded and washed out. It is a 'bleed' design, with no margins.
Note (1): This print was originally published by David in his Surimono Albums series. He made approximately 200 copies of each of those prints, and distributed them only in album form, never as single prints. It was his idea that after the 200 album sets of any particular album have been sold, the blocks (still in absolutely perfect condition) could then be used to produce prints to be added to the Mokuhankan catalogue, with the printing being done by hired craftsmen working under his direction. The first Surimono Album is now out-of-print, and this is one of the designs from it.
Note (2): The impressions we now have available of this print are among the initial issues from Ms. Yasue Tsushima, who began training as a printer here at Mokuhankan in early summer of 2011. A series of posts over on the Mokuhankan Conversations blog - beginning with this one - introduced her and followed her progress ...