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Moriya Jihei

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  • Active: c. 1797-1886
  • Other Names: 石川治兵衛 (Ishikawa Jihei)
  • Japanese: 森屋冶兵衛 (Moriya Jihei)

Moriya Jihei, born Ishikawa Jihei, was a publisher of ukiyo-e prints based in the Nihonbashi neighborhood of Edo (later Tokyo). He worked with a number of artists, including Hokusai, Utamaro, and Kunisada. Due to the incredible length of his dates of activity, it is quite unlikely that Moriya Jihei was a single individual; rather, it is likely that his successor took on his name, or at least continued to use that name in his professional capacity as a publisher.

Moriya's firm is listed in the colophon (okutsuke) of books he published as Kinshindô (錦森堂); his seal read "Moriji" (森冶).

Jihei is known to have been a member of the Jihon toiya, or "Picture Book and Print Publishers Guild" in 1807, and to have been considered a member of the "Old Faction," or moto gumi, of that guild as of 1851. From 1876 onwards, he (or his successor in operating his publishing business) used a seal which read "Ichikawa Jihei."

It is unclear when the original Moriya Jihei was born, or when he died, but the name was used over a nearly 100-year span, from roughly 1797, until 1886.

References

  • Marks, Andreas. Publishers of Japanese Woodblock Prints: A Compendium. Hotei Publishing, 2011. pp243-245.
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