Wataya Kihei (綿屋喜兵衛) (publisher ca 1809 – 1885)Kinzuidō (firm name - 金随堂)
Maeda Kihei (family name - 前田喜兵衛)
Wataki (seal name - 綿喜)
Osaka print publisher (Marks #579). Seal name most often used Wataki, but not in all cases and the firm name is Kinsuidō, with the family name Maeda Kieei. Artists published by this house include Ashihiro, Ashisato, Ashiyuki, Hokuei, Hokushū, Kagematsu, Kunihiro, Nagahide, Nagakuni, Sadamasa, Sadanobu, Sadayoshi, Shibakuni, Shigeharu, Shunchō, Tamikuni, Toyohide and Yoshikuni.
There are Nagahide, Ashiyuki, Hokuei, Hokushū, Sadamasa and Shigeharu prints in the Lyon Collection that were all printed by this house. We have highlighted their names in bold type.
"The pattern of the publishing business in Ōsaka seems to have been quite different from that in Edo, where publishers proliferated quite freely. Though the technique of the multicolored woodblock had become public property by the 1770s, it appears that the number of publishers always remained somewhat limited in Ōsaka, with a tendency towards domination by one or a handful of houses. The very first Edo-style ōban prints, produced between 1812 and 1815, appear to have been the virtual monopoly: Tenki (Tenmaya Kihei), Wataki (Wataya Kihei), Honsei (Honya Seibei), and Toshin (Tokuraya Shinbei). They in turn, either by governmental restriction on licenses or through collusion, managed to keep out further competition until the late 1830s..."
Quoted from: Osaka Prints by Dean J. Schwaab, p. 11.