Chikanobu Horse Race Print – Catalogued Anywhere?

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Chikanobu Horse Race Print – Catalogued Anywhere?


Bought a print for very cheap at a yard sale. Neither we nor the seller are very knowledgeable about ukiyo-e, and assumed this was not an authentic, historical work. However, we and some friends do have some knowledge of kanji/Japanese; afterwards, we noticed that the artist is indicated to be Chikanobu Yoshu, and that the event depicted is apparently a horse race in Ueno Park in 1884. There does appear to be other prints Chikanobu did of the Ueno Park horse races (e.g. this one), but this particular one did not appear in any of my searches so far.

Anyone know if it is catalogued anywhere? As it was not expensive at all I don’t think we will be upset if it isn’t authentic (we bought it because we liked the whimsical floating objects in the sky).

Also, any insight or educated guesses into the history of this print (if it is actually old) would be greatly appreciated!

  • soup_and_a_sandwich

    Apologies, it looks like the media didn't add. Here are URLs to images:

    Full image:


    Artist signature:


    Info at bottom right:

  • Taguchi Yoshimori

    Spring Horse Racing at Shinobazu Pond



    Looks like it's here but attributed differently:

  • soup_and_a_sandwich

    Thanks for the quick response!

    That one looks to be a different print (same subject, though, with the same floats in the sky!). This one does have Chikanobu's name on it (3rd and 4th characters in the signature image), so I do think Chikanobu is the original artist.

  • lucienne parkan

    Looks like you have two original panels of a Chikanobu triptych... (nice find) unfortunately I wasn't able to find it in any on-line db 😪 however I was able to dicipher the info contained in cartouches reading from right to left

    明治十七年十一月 日七御届 (notice submitted year Meiji 17, month November, day 7)

    画工 gakou or artist 橋本直義 Hashimoto Naoyoshi   preceded by address 湯嶌天神三丁目十一番地 Yushima Tenjinchō Sanchōme 11-banchi

    板主 綱島亀吉 (publisher Tsunajima Kamekichi) preceded by address 馬喰町丁二目十四番地 Nohonbashi-ku, Tokyo, Bakurochō Nichōme 14-banchi

    Hope you find an original of the missing left panel


    • soup_and_a_sandwich

      Wow, thanks so much for finding this and deciphering! For whatever reason, it hadn't occurred to me that there could be a third panel, but it makes total sense (especially since so many of his other works are triptychs).

      This is very cool information!

  • MichaelO

    A complete copy of your print can be found on page 43 of the 1998 publication 浮世絵明治の競馬, Ukiyoe Meiji no keiba. I will attach a photo of the print from the book with accompanying text.  Please excuse the odd angle of the photo, best I could do to eliminate glare on the page.

    • soup_and_a_sandwich

      Wow, thank you! It's so cool to see it all together. I really appreciate you finding this.

      Popped it through Google's image translate and got this:

      Fukushu Shuen [should be Chikanobu, I think], Garden of the Ueno Shinobazu-no-ike Horse Racing Company, 1884 (Meiji 17)

      The composition depicts a horse viewing stand on the left, a horse race scene in the foreground, and Fuden Pond and Benten Island on the right, creating a clear composition using perspective. Dolls are launched into the sky along with fireworks. The boats on the pond are also fully decorated.

      That explains the odd, floating people and animals!

  • MichaelO

    I think there is a copy at the Museum of the Horse in Yokohama.  Their collection does not appear to be on-line.  With respect to the floats-- those are hiruhanabi-- daytime fireworks. Interesting work has been done on those fireworks and associated prints like yours by Mew Lingjun Jiang at the University of Oregon.  You can look at slides from a presentation she did on the subject here:

    • soup_and_a_sandwich

      Yes, it looks like the museum is closed for repairs until 2028. Still, it's nice to know there are complete copies out there!

      Thank you for the link to the presentation -- I will take a look!

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