Item from the Mokuhankan Flea Market

Abalone Diver's Nightmare (XL)

Size: 37.5cm by 54.5cm (14.76 in by 21.46 in) | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [XL] ?

Designer: Kitagawa Utamaro

Era: Post-war | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: ¥ 40,000$ 305.00£ 240.00€ 280.00 [Item has been sold]

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Description: This print is from a set of Ukiyo-e reproductions published by Kyoeido probably around the 1960s. You can see the scale in Dave's YouTube video featuring Tokaido prints from the same set. The image may look familiar but it's different in terms of size - it's in double ōban format, approximately 55 x 40 cm.

This reproduction print is a 'sanitized' version of a design from Utamaro's shunga book 'Utamakura' 歌まくら (Poem of the Pillow).

Seated on a rock, in the middle of a river, a female diver for abalone shellfish is watching with a mix of horror and fascination the violation of her companion by two scaly river creatures called ‘kappa’. The scary scene is taking place in the bottom of the river beneath some seaweeds.

It depicts interestingly two worlds in one print - the diver in the real world and her imaginary world underneath the water with the water monsters, often accused of assaulting humans in the water.


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