Measles print

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Measles print



I recently bought this print on a flea market.

I discovered online that it should be a print by Yoshitora Utagawa, probably 1862.

The subject is about measles epidemic, I found quite a few indications on the net.

  1. Can you please help me with the translation of the text? I tried with Google Translate, but I have hard time understanding the meaning…

2. Can you also explain to me the symbolism (people with food on their heads)? It is quite mysterious for me.

3. Do you have any idea about the commercial value that could have?

The print is in quite good state, however I have the impression that the colours have slightly faded away.

Thanks to anyone who can help :)


  • manuD

    title : 麻疹禁忌荒増

    It is the right panel of a diptych available here:


    The caption of that page tells us that the prints detail the history, number of years, and circumstances surrounding the measles epidemic. They explain in an easy-to-understand manner the foods that are good and bad for measles, and the diet. They explain that good health is very important and that it is important to take care not to develop any residual illness.

    There are indeed many dates and numbers of years in the text of your print.

  • Marco

    Thanks ManuD,

    Very precious explanation!

    Do you think it could be valuable?

    I'm not very interested in selling... but you never know ;)

    Thanks again


  • manuD

    When looking at the results of auctions of woodprints, one finds that some sold for many times the estimated or reserve value, and others didnt sell at all. In other words, the value of a print depends much on who is selling and who is there to buy. It is more important to focus on the quality of the collection, choice of artists, of subjects, (good) condition of the individual prints.

  • Marco

    Totally agree!

    I was wondering just because it is the first time that I own a woodprint of which I know the author... Yoshitora Utagawa, who has a page on Wikipedia... :-)

    Anyway, I'm not selling it!

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