Item from the Mokuhankan Flea Market

Prayers for Rain

Size: 30.5cm by 20.0cm (12.01 in by 7.87 in) | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [L] ?

Designer: Katsushika Hokusai

Era: Taisho | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: ¥ 15,000$ 120.00£ 94.00€ 109.00 [Item has been sold]

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Description: This print is from the series, 日本木版画粋 (Masterpieces of Japanese Woodblock Prints), a collection of reproductions of various themes and designs published around 1924. The print quality is excellent (for most of the prints) and there are almost no traces of baren on the back, so we assume that it was at least partially machine printed.

The print depicts a parody of one of seven kabuki plays known as Nana Komachi (Seven Komachi) written in the 14th century where the poetess Ono no Komachi succeeded in making rain happen for three days. Having been called by the Emperor to provide a verse to bring forth rain during a drought, she recites her poem, lights some incense, and tosses the poem into a pond, initiating a thunderstorm.

In this picture, Hokusai’s style shows the poetess in the middle of two men, hiding under an umbrella to protect herself from the storm. The dynamism of the lines, the facial expressions, and the brilliant colors make a very vivid and dynamic composition.

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