Item from the Mokuhankan Flea Market

Rabbits under a Full Moon

Size: 39.0cm by 13.5cm (15.35 in by 5.31 in) | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [L] ?

Designer: Ando Hiroshige

Era: Post-war | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: ¥ 9,000$ 81.00£ 58.75€ 68.75 [Item has been sold]

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Description: There were many Hiroshige tanzaku-ban prints published back in the Edo era. This particular dimension made perfect use of a single sheet of washi being cut into four strips vertically. And many of the prints were actually made 'two-up' and then cut apart for sale later.

Most of his designs in this format are related to birds and flowers, but he did occasionally venture a bit further afield, as here.

This beautiful chu-tanzaku print shows two rabbits in some reeds or grass under the full moon. The jewel-like red eye of the rabbit smiling up at the moon is the only speck of colour in the print (apart from the artist's stamps), and immediately draws the viewer's attention. Perhaps the print is playing on the traditional Japanese belief that the shape of a rabbit can be seen in the moon...

The poem can be translated as, "The night is amorous. Dew covers the bed of grass. Probably the rabbit's wife cannnot sleep until late".

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