is the most commonly seen censor's seal on Japanese prints and appears from
1790 to ca. 1842.
a particular problem for new collectors and beginning connoisseurs alike.
The kiwame alone does not allow the viewer to know the specific date of any
image. However, there are other cues: Identifying specific actors and their
career dates; performance dates of plays; knowing the terminus ante quem
of such things as an artist's death date; and recognizing the
stylistic changes within the oeuvre of an individual artists. This is less a
science than an art.
dates using the kiwame is by necessity subjective and relies on exerience
and exposure. Even the greatest Rembrandt experts haven't always agreed on
the fine points of his prints. Keep this in mind if ever you run across the
same image in two different shops or books where there are different dates
displayed. Naturally, one will be closer to the truth. My job is to figure
out which one.