Torii Kiyonobu II
Sanogawa Mangiku as a Street Hawker

Signed: Torii Kiyonobu hitsu; Publisher’s logo (Urokogataya Magobei); hosoban, 32.3 x 15.3 cm; urushi-e with metallic pigments

The actor appears here as a hawker selling accessories: the large trunk on his back bears the label komamono (“little things”, i.e. toilette articles); the smaller box behind it, with a mirror bound to it, is labelled shakunaga kamoji (“hair pieces”). The figure is surrounded by a long monologue text of the street hawker, which is rich in double entendre.

Provenance: Sotheby’s, London (June 1964)
Riese Collection #10

Hand-coloured prints of itinerant street peddlers have always been prised by collectors of Japanese prints. This portrait of Sanogawa Mangiku is a particularly fine example. The long text surrounding the figure is the actor’s soliloquy, advertising his wears in a highly rhetorical style full of word-play and badinage. Komamono, the “little things” the vendor is offering in the cases on his back, included lip rouge, white powder, combs, chair ornaments, and other objects and materials for beautifying ladies. The smaller vertical box is inscribed shakunaga kamoji, and contained made-up lengths of hair for women to add to their wigs or coiffures. The black object above this box is probably a mirror.

Reproduced in Ingelheim catalogue, no. 15
Ivory hammer 2, Sotheby’s, London, 1964, p.135