Help identifying this large tanzaku

Home » Topics » Help identifying this large tanzaku

Help identifying this large tanzaku


  • MichaelO

    The artist is Utagawa Kuniaki II.  I do not recognize and cannot identify the first two characters of his signature in the large signature block.  However, his name appears as Hachisuka Kuniaki 蜂須賀国明 in the blocks containing additional information to the right of the signature.  I do not see the signature block variant on the Ukiyo-e Signatures site so you might forward it to them. Publication date, publisher and engraver I will leave for better, more reliable,  readers.

  • lucienne parkan

    David, Michael
    Hope I didn't miss anything

    Here are some samples of Kuniaki signatures
    the ones you mention are both listed
    (ōju 応需 means by request/demand)

    texts starting from the right

    pink cartouche

    御届 Ontodoke (notification/date delivered for approval)
    明治十一年 Meiji 11 (1878)
    四月 4th month

    Two column cartouche artist and (address or description)
    画工 Gakō (painter)
    蜂須賀国明筆 Hachisuka Kuniaki

    Two column cartouche indicating publisher and address 
    Nihonbashi-dori, 1-cho, no. 19
    出版人 shuppan hito (publisher)
    大倉 孫兵衛 Okura Makobei

    Small cartouche attached to artist's signature is the blockcutter's mark

    Katada Hori Chô 片田彫長

  • Thank you Michael and Lucienne!

    This is one of 3 huge tanzaku that I purchased, all by the and artist. By huge, I mean what I believe are 5 horizontal oban stacked vertically. Massive. I've never seen pieces like this and unable to find any other examples of them.

    I'll photograph and upload the others in a bit, thank you for your help!!

    • MichaelO

      Thank you for the detailed translation! I see to always have a problem with ōju.

      David, are the prints actually composed of multiple sheets or are they printed on larger paper? Or both? I didn't see any of those designs, aside from the old auction listing, when I was prowling around.  Nice find.

      • That auction listing was likely the one I purchased them from... it was from an auction not too far away from me so I went for it even though had no clue what they were.

        The pieces are composed of two double-oban (15"x20") joined vertically to make 15"x40".

        All in all can't say I've ever seen something like this, let alone three.

  • This is the verso of one. The full piece measures about 15" wide by 40" tall. The image area is composed of two prints joined, each a double oban of 15" by 20".


    • MichaelO

      Looking at the back, and the size, I think these were to be hung as scrolls.  The borders certainly mimic a scroll mounting. Thank you for sharing.

Go to Top