Okumura Toshinobu (active 1717-50)
'Young Lovers by Mount Fuji'
Urushi-e (laquer print)
Signature: Yamato-eshi Okumura Toshinobu hitsu, Seal: Okumura, Publisher: Izumiya Gonshirô Museum no. E.1419-1898
Ukiyo-e or 'pictures of the floating world' is the term used to describe the Japanese popular woodblock prints and paintings from the Edo period (1615-1868).
This print has been created by printing the contour lines from a woodblock, and then colouring by hand, with beni (safflower red) as the predominant colour. Such prints are known as beni-e.
Hand-coloured prints such as this one with areas of intense black are specifically known as urushi-e or 'lacquer prints', as the black areas (which are made from a mixture of animal glue and black pigment) resemble the glossiness of black lacquer.
A considerable quantity of early ukiyo-e prints took their subjects from jôruri. Jôruri are puppet plays with narrative chanting accompanied by the three-stringed musical instrument known as the samisen. This print is based on the jôruri entitled 'Teika'. In it we see Teika and Nowaki, disguised as a packhorse driver, stealing away from the capital of Kyoto towards eastern Japan.
This print can be found in Japanese Print Room Box JP1.