The Hundred Poets Compared

A Print Series by Kuniyoshi, Hiroshige, and Kunisada

The Hundred Poets Compared is about a 100-print series made by three famous Ukiyo-e artists of the 19th century: Kuniyoshi, Hiroshige, and Kunisada. Each print compares one of the poems from the most-beloved collection of Japanese poetry, The One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each ( Hyakunin Isshu), with a scene from Japanese history or theatre. Begun during the repressive Tenpô Reforms, the series includes many surreptitious portraits of popular actors. Herwig and Mostow explain each episode depicted and its connection to its particular poem, providing a translation of the commentary text on each print and the identification of actors and performances. This work will be welcome to Ukiyo-e collectors and scholars, as well as those interested in Kabuki and Japanese legends.

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Henk J. Herwig is a retired Lecturer of Zoology and Cell Biology at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Since 1992 he has been Editor-in-Chief of Andon, the renowned Bulletin of the Society for Japanese Art. With his wife he is also the author of Heroes of the Kabuki Stage (2004). Joshua S. Mostow is Professor of Asian Studies at The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He is also author of Pictures of the Heart: The Hyakunin Isshu in Word and Image (1996) and other works on Japanese art and literature.
Preface and acknowledgements Notes to the reader Introduction to the series A remarkable adventure An anthology of poems Fujiwara no Teika and the One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each Mitate-e Serial works Parody pictures of the One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each The Tenpô Reforms: publishers and actors under pressure The conception of the series Members of the team Ibaya Senzaburô, fan merchant and publisher Kuniyoshi, the unbridled Hiroshige, master of landscape Ryûkatei Tanekazu, author of popular fiction Kunisada, master of the theatrical print Publishing dates of the series A re-evaluation halfway Chief literary sources Kabuki sub rosa Conclusion Notes Pictures, translations, explications and commentaries Appendices Overview of artists, censors, characters, and poets Overview of prints showing specific Kabuki actors Indices actors’ stage-names and playwrights Overview of periods in which specific censor seals were used Bibliography Index
Scholars, collectors and general audience interested in Japanese prints, Japanese literature and poetry, history and Kabuki theatre.