Before Tarō Inari Shrine at the Asakusa Ricefields

Creped impression (chirimen)

Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika 小林清親 (1847-1915)
Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō 福田熊治良 (act. c. 1874-1898)
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, ca. 1881
Ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 21.2 x 32.1 cm (8 3/8 x 12 5/8 in)
Credit Line
Robert O. Muller Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

gate, Japan, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), moon, nocturne, Robert O. Muller collection, shrine

To 2003
Robert O. Muller (1911-2003), Newtown, CT, to 2003

From 2003
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, bequeathed by Robert O. Muller in 2003

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Robert O. Muller 1911-2003


Creped impression (chirimen)


Throughout the nineteenth century, Tarō Inari Shrine was a popular Shinto destination for cult worshippers who sought miraculous healings. By the late 1870s, however, the site had become a wasteland, populated only by a lone gate and some wretched buildings. In this profoundly melancholy print, Kiyochika relies on the strong gradations of tone from the foreground to the distance, the stark architecture of the haunting torii gate, which lingers like a gaunt relic, and the severe contrast between the natural and man-made worlds. It is an unusual composition for Kiyochika, who typically populated his landscapes with human figures.

Published References
  • Hélène Valance. Nocturne: Night in American Art 1890-1917. New Haven, Connecticut. p. 13, fig. 14.
  • Francois Lachaud. Les Provinces de la nuit: quelques nocturnes de Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915). vol. 66 Paris. 194, 13.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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