Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900) Thirty-six Modern Restaurants: Kuramaya at Shinmeimae, 1878. Oban.
This series of prints compares new, western style restaurants with named beautiful women. In this lovely print we see two women on the ground floor of an establishment unfolding a banner. The interior is lush with brocades and painted screens; in the background there is a Chinese painting of one of the lucky gods of wisdom and in the foreground one of an owl.
The title of the series is typically a play on words, as it can mean both modern restaurant or lower floor of restaurant and many of the prints show stairs leading to the upper stories. Although not terribly new, this period saw greater co-operation between business and publisher as the habit of using ukiyo-e to publicise kabuki events eventually spread to trade.
The print is in fine condition, good impression and colour. Others in this series are available on request.
35.0 x 24.0 cm.