Arts of Japan: Ukiyo-e to Shin-hanga at Auction on May 21st

MARLBOROUGH, MA – Skinner is pleased to announce a specialized auction focusing on Japanese prints and paintings open for bidding from May 21-31, 2022. Arts of Japan: Ukiyo-e to Shin-hanga focuses on the enduring charm of ukiyo-e, the technical brilliance of Japanese modern and contemporary prints, and the Nihonga tradition expressed well in the kakejiku hanging scrolls and the byobu screens from Edo to Meiji periods.

Ukiyo-e prints ignited Japonisme—a French term coined to indicate the collecting frenzy for everything Japanese—which swept European art and design during the second half of the 19th century. In North America, Bostonians were among the first to appreciate the exotic beauty of Japanese art and design. As avid collectors, these early aesthetes are recognized for amassing some of the finest collections in public and private hands. This auction undoubtedly reflects the heritage, enduring fascination, and deep appreciation of Japanese art in New England,” said Suhyung Kim, Director of Asian Works of Art.

Toshusai Sharaku (active 1794-95),
Segawa Tomisaburo II as Yadorigi,
Japan, originally 1794
(Lot 1010, Estimate $200-300)
Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806),
Woodblock Print, Japan, c. 1795-1803
(Lot 1003, Estimate $600-800)

Most notable from the ukiyo-e print selections include rare pieces from the golden age of nishiki-e, including a portrait of the kabuki actor Segawa Tomisaburo II as Yadorigiby Sharaku (Lot 1010, Estimate: $200-300) and a portrait of three courtesans by Utamaro (Lot 1003, Estimate: $600-800). A genre scene by Hokusai known as “Pearl Divers” (Lot 1001, Estimate: $600-800) and several landscapes and portraits by Hiroshige and Utagawa School artists represent the popular style of the 19th century ukiyo-e.

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849),
Poem by Sangi Takamura (Ono no Takamura),
Japan, 1835-36
(Lot 1001, Estimate $600-800)
Six-panel Screen Painting Depicting a
Panoramic Garden Scene, Japan
(Lot 1074, Estimate $2,000-4,000)

Highlights from the Nihonga section include a sumptuous six-panel screen painting depicting the Four Admirers (Lot 1074, Estimate: $2,000-4,000), a yamato-e style album leaf depicting Princess Kishi, one of the Thirty-six Immortals of Poetry (Lot 1061, Estimate: $500-700), a hanging scroll bijinga, in the manner of Tani Buncho (1763-1841) (Lot 1059, Estimate: $200-300), a colorful hanging scroll kachoga in the manner of Yanagisawa Kien (1704-1758) (Lot 1048, Estimate: $400-600), and several Zen calligraphy works in the manner of Kameda Bosai (1752-1826) (Lot 1072 & 1073).

Hanging Scroll with Two Album Leaves, Japan, Sumiyoshi school
(Lot 1061, Estimate $500-700)
Hanging Scroll Depicting a Beauty, Japan, in the manner of Tani Buncho (1763-1841)
(Lot 1059, Estimate $200-300)
Hanging Scroll Depicting Flowers, Japan, in the manner of Yanagisawa Kien (1704-1758)
(Lot 1048, Estimate $400-600)

Offered in the shin-hanga selections are various modern-era prints encompassing works by sosaku-hanga and contemporary artists. In addition to works by Hasui (1883-1957) and Yoshida (1876-1950), a sizable selection of etchings by Tanaka (1933-2019), woodblock prints by Hoshi(1913-1979) and Namiki (b. 1947), and silkscreens of Sugiura (b. 1938) and Oda (b. 1941) are offered, all come from private collections and are in fine condition. We invite you to visit our website to browse the more than 250 individual works presented in this 150 lot auction, to schedule a preview appointment, or ask a question of our specialists at

Kawase Hasui (1883-1957), Snow at Shiba Park, Japan, 1931
(Lot 1076, Estimate $800-1,200)
Ryohei Tanaka (1933-2019), Snowy Hatago, Japan, 1977
(Lot 1106, Estimate $600-800)
Joichi Hoshi (1913-1979), Cedar (Evening), Japan, 1978
(Lot 1094, Estimate $1,200-1,800)
Kazutoshi Sugiura (b. 1938), Irises No. 65, Japan, 1987
(Lot 1136, Estimate $400-600)
Mayumi Oda (b. 1941), Morning Breath and My Breath Diptych, Japan, 1983
(Lot 1129, Estimate $3,000-5,000)

About Skinner

Skinner attracts top consignments and commands record-breaking prices in the international auction marketplace. In March 2022, Skinner was acquired by the global auction house Bonhams, simultaneously bringing Skinner to the world’s stage and providing Bonhams with greater access to the North American market. With renowned expertise and extraordinary service, Skinner is the place for buyers, sellers and the passionately curious. Skinner appraisers are familiar faces on PBS’s 19-time Emmy Award-nominated ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. Visit us in Boston, Marlborough, New York, Maine, Florida, or online at

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