Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/161

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Beginning of Wood-Engraving


century, he stood as the absolute monarch in this domain. His sheets, which were always printed in bold and simple black and white, are seldom found coloured, and then only with a few broad effective blots of orange, brown-red, and green. One of his earliest productions is the Ukiyo hiakunin joya, or hundred female figures, thirty-one representations of women in their daily occupations, Yedo; further, the Iwaki yezukushi, scenes from aristocratic life, 1682; the Yamato no oyosei, 1682; in 1683 he published the pictures of fair women, Bijin yezukushi; in the Hiakunun ishu sugata (1685) he represents the hundred poets sitting facing each other in pairs, all different, full of movement and expression and individuality. Besides these, he illustrated the novel Ise monogatari (new edition, 1774, in two volumes), Genji monogatari (25 sheets), and edited a guide to the Yoshiwara in 1678, a topographical work (meisho) in 1687, a series of landscape gardens in 1691; and his life-work further includes an album of studies of animals, plants, and flowers, a set of designs for fans, 1682, flowers and birds, 1683, and Yegata sennin yukushi (ghost stories in the Chinese style), 1689. A very full list of his works may be found in Anderson's Catalogue, p. 334; and reproductions in the Hayashi Catalogue, No. 174; Duret, p. 53; Fenollosa, Outline, pl. ii. Single-sheet prints by him are very scarce. He is said in his old age to have renounced the world and shaved his head, and, taking the name of Yuchiku, to have spent the rest of his days as a monk, dying circa 171415 in the period of Shotoku (171116) at the age of sixty-seven. But a more credible version has lately been found on the first page of a book by his son Morofusa, according to which he died in 1695; and in fact no work by him later than that date can be proved to exist.

Moronobu left two sons, one of whom, Moronaga, is said to have distinguished himself as a colourist of wood-engravings. The other, Hishikawa Morofusa, followed absolutely the manner