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800x413, 124kB


Published: July, 1890.
Description: Women & children enjoying golden coy while go is being played in the background.
Comment: This lush coloring and "kimono subject matter" is typical of Chikanobu's triptychs.
Copyright: Douglas Cable

900x675, 136kB


Published: April, 1880.
Description: Courtesans in Shinagawa Mansion relaxing by writing poetry, playing go and reading. Left to right: Murasaki, Wakayanagi, Hanaogi, Kinran, Koshikibu, Tsuya-Yosooi.
Comment: Many of the ukiyo-e of the Yoshiwara named the courtesans and often acted as advertisements for the pleasure establishments. The Yoshiwara was the fenced and gated pleasure quarters in Edo (Old Tokyo). Life here was a Disneyland/kaleidoscope of worldly pleasure. The Shogunate prohibited the by-now-wealthy, but scorned, merchant class from displaying their wealth, so they spent it on the pleasures of the senses in the Yoshiwara... a lifestyle known as the "floating world." They just "blew-it-out," since there was nothing else to do with their money. Ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock print) is translated as "pictures of the floating world."
Copyright: Douglas Cable

900x675, 96kB


Published: 1886.
Description: This is Sato Tadanobu, known as "Go Board Tadanobu," because of the many prints showing him fighting-off his enemies with a go board.
Comment: The full story of Tadanobu, and many other prints, can be found at the Kiseido website showing the renowned William Pinckard collection, with descriptions. Many of the covers of Go World magazine are taken from the Pinckard prints. This particular print shows him dozing over the go board, as his mistress prepares to sneak out, in order to betray him. The lesson must be to never nap over a game of go.
Copyright: Douglas Cable

1200x803, 124kB


Description: Women engaged in the tea ceremony and playing go.
Comment: There are a number of prints showing the "acceptable" pursuits of women, and this one is typical. Activities of the Yoshiwara were not included although many "establishments" in the Yoshiwara had go boards for their patrons.
Copyright: Douglas Cable

900x675, 84kB


Published: 1883.
Description: Futomaki & Ariwara of Tsunebi-Ro playing Japanese backgammon, with a go board in the background.
Series: Honored Courtesans: #3"
Comment: I would like to think that the green table in the back is a billiard table, but I just can't convince myself.
Copyright: Douglas Cable

1200x900, 204kB


Published: 1881.
Title: "Shogi & Go Players."
Description: Triptych of the Empress Meiji looking at the activities of court ladies.
Comment: Another "lush" print. After the early to mid 1860's, when aniline die from Europe became available, colors (especially reds & greens) became much stronger, with a different tone. Before that only vegetable, and other natural, dyes were available, which were more subtle, although they were more susceptible to fading. Some critics accuse the newer prints to be harsh and clashing, unless the colors were handled with some delicacy.
Copyright: Douglas Cable

900x1345, 204kB


Published: May of 1880.
Comment: Nice example of a tastefully done print, despite plenty of aniline red.
Copyright: Douglas Cable

450x312, 64kB


Published: circa 1835.
Comment: Hokuga was a pupil of the famous Hokusai. This print shows Shoki, on the right, and an oni (demon) playing go at Onamiyama. It's unusual in that it depicts the scene on the folded-over page of a book. Shoki, a demon killer, is a familiar Japanese figure with an often comic aspect.
Copyright: Douglas Cable

900x675, 72kB


Published: circa 1900
Comment: Instead of an ukiyo-e, this is a "kuchi-e" (magazine insert), showing a woman bringing tea to two men playing go. It has two vertical fold marks, because of the magazine insertion. Such illustrations generally have something to do with one of the stories in the magazine, and this one is very unusual, illustrating the game of go.
Copyright: Douglas Cable

600x450, 32kB


Published: January 1872
Description: Courtesan Nagahama of the Owari House enjoying Playing Go.
Series: "Mitate Juroku Rakan No Ouchi" - 16 Enjoyable Pastimes.
Comment: The print doesn't indicate where go stacks up on that list. We hope it's in the top 4 or 5. This print is an example of a somewhat garish juxtaposition of aniline red and green in close proximity.
Copyright: Douglas Cable

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Picture collection overview
Go Art
Go Ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) Collection
The Doug Cable Go Ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) Collection
Visiting the USA
Charles Matthews visiting Uganda
IGS celebraties
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