Sarayashiki (The House of Broken Plates), from the series “One Hundred Ghost Tales”

Maker(s)
Artist: Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾北斎 (1760-1849)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1831-1832
Medium
Woodblock print; color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 25.4 x 18.3 cm (10 x 7 3/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2004.3.210
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Print
Type

Woodblock print

Keywords
Anne van Biema collection, Edo period (1615 - 1868), ghost, Japan, ukiyo-e, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

The five ghosts from the published designs of a series titled One Hundred Ghost Tales (Hyaku monogatari) reflect an Edo custom of telling ghost tales in the dark. The ghosts are among the eeriest of Hokusai's commercially published prints, and they express Hokusai's interest in imagining the supernatural world, which began in his youth with a print of a haunted house. Here, a woman's head with a serpentine neck made up of a stack of dishes represents the ghost of Okiku, whose master threw her into a well because she had broken his favorite dish. At night the sound of smashing porcelain and a voice counting "one, two, three…" emanated from the well.

Published References
  • Katsushika Hokusai ten. Tokyo. cat. 118.
  • Hokusai ten. Exh. cat. Tokyo. cat. nos.386,238,353.
  • Katsushika Hokusai ten. Exh. cat. Tokyo. cat. V-14.
  • Hokusai: Ukiyo-e wo yomu [Reading Ukiyo-e Prints]. vol. 4 Tokyo. fig. 36.
  • Ann Yonemura, Nagata Seiji, Kobayashi Tadashi, Asano Shugo, Timothy Clark, Naito Masatoshi. Hokusai: Volume Two. Exh. cat. Washington, 2006. cat. 104, p. 83.
  • Ann Yonemura. Hokusai: Volume One. Exh. cat. Washington, 2006. cat. 150, p. 226.
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 265, p. 339.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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