• Kyodo News


A color woodblock print depicting a female ghost by ukiyo-e master Utagawa Kuniyoshi that disappeared before the war has recently been confirmed as in the possession of a researcher in Tokyo.

The print, “Kasane no Boukon,” depicting the apparition of a woman named Kasane, is “a work of Kuniyoshi’s mature period and is extremely rare in that it conveys colors as if it was an initial print,” said Toshihiko Isao, an oil painter.

The print, 36 cm high and 25 cm n wide, is owned by Isao Shimizu, who studies cartoons and satirical drawings. Shimizu bought it from an art dealer in Tokyo in summer 2007 and has since been working to confirm its authenticity.

Isao said the print was last seen in a black and white photo in an art book issued in 1931.

The ghost’s face is depicted using a collage of images of human bodies in various forms, as well as tools. Given that the print bears a seal issued by the shogunate for publication, it is believed it was produced sometime between 1847 and 1852.

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