Three Heads are Better than One
Designer: Kawanabe Kyosai
Price: 7,000 yen (click to see conversions)
Description: This is an unusual item in our Flea Market catalogue - a freshly made print, but not by us here at Mokuhankan. One of the traditional printers living and working in Tokyo for many years, Mr. Tsutomu Mitamura, has decided to try his hand at issuing some print reproductions himself.
He is a huge fan of Kawanabe Kyosai's work, and has begun his publishing activities with a series of reproductions of some of Kyosai's yokai related designs. He arranged for one of the younger carvers in the traditional crafts association, Kayoko Suga, to do the carving, and did the printing himself.
The designs he selected are all connected to ことわざ絵 (images based on proverbs). There are two depicted here. The lower one is basically literal - the group of three people can create an entire festival display by themselves (drum, flute and dancer).
The upper image is a bit more contrived. The Japanese phrase is 提灯に釣鐘 (In a lantern is a bell ...), and refers to the situation we see in the image, where our heroic warrior has tried to balance a paper lantern and a bell, because ... you know ... they look basically the same shape ...
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