KUNISADA (1786-1865)
Three Long Life
Scroll reads: Celebrating long life and prosperity for 10,000 years (scroll signed by 87-year-old Keizan)
Signed: celebrating at the age of 70 years Toyokuni hitsu
Dated: 1855

A New Year’s scene of a woman holding a scroll, a woman holding a sake bottle beside a fish, and a woman drinking from a cup.

One of the ceremonies at the beginning of the New Year was the writing of the first calligraphy, usually of an auspicious character (here on the scroll). In the background on the left, the character for long life is written on rice cakes.

Mirroring the foreground scene is a screen with three figures. First is Tobusaku, who is holding two of the three peaches of immortality, which he stole from Seiobu. He ate one to become immortal.  Seiobu, the Fairy Goddess, or “Queen Mother of the West” cultivated peach trees of longevity. They bloomed every thousand years, and eating one of the peaches was believed to confer immortality. Tobusaku is often associated with Jurojin, one of the seven gods associated with longevity.

The second figure in the print is the fisherman, Urashima Taro, who lived for centuries in the Dragon King’s Palace beneath the sea until he accidentally gave up his immortality. Here he is holding a sake bottle.

The third figure is Miura Daisuke, also known as Yoshiaki Miura (1092-1180). This warrior, who went into battle at the age of 89, is seen drinking from a large cup

Very good impression with excellent deluxe colors. Very good condition. Oban Triptych.


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