A Japanese signed woodblock print by Chikanobu Toyohara (Chikanobu Yoshu), 1838-1912, titled "Start of an Archery Tournament", a triptych from the series "Chiyoda no on-omote (Chiyoda Outer Palace)", dated "Meiji 30 (1897)" and published by Fukuda Kumajiro.
Created in Japan during the Meiji period, this woodblock print is set inside a carved wooden frame and secured under glass. Our eye is immediately drawn to the two archers engaged in the tournament, the target placed further to the right. Framed with a tree on the left under which the jury is sitting, the scene is perfectly composed, with the blue and white banner leading us from left to right. Two additional archers in the lower right create a perfect diagonal with the tree.
The process of woodblock printing would start with an artist’s drawing that would be transferred from paper to a cherry-wood block, which was carved and then inked, before blank sheets of paper were laid on top. Signed Chikanobu Toyohara (Chikanobu Yoshu) and showcasing the censor's seal, this Japanese archery competition woodblock print will make for an excellent addition to any wall, perhaps hung above a commode, altar table or side chest.
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