The Kuchi-e Tradition - Kuchi-e prints are woodblock frontispiece illustrations used in the publication of Japanese novels and magazines around the turn of the 20th century. Most kuchi-e prints were illustrations of bijin and continued the tradition of idealized beauties in Japanese art. The subjects, however, have a decidedly Meiji era feel about them and reflect the artistic movement towards more western design. Kuchi-e prints typically have one or two folds because of their use.
Much interest has been generated in the subject since the publication in 2000 of Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada's book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture." Kuchi-e prints have become highly sought after and collected by the serious collector.
Comments - Handsome kuchi-e illustration of the young warrior Minamoto no Yoshitsune taking a break, sitting in the grass next to a white cloth panel. He leans back on one hand as he looks ahead, his long hair hanging over his shoulders, a folding fan in his other hand and a quiver of arrows is visible above his back. A few faintly embossed cherry blossoms frame the scene, perhaps suggesting the transience of life. An attractive design. This image appears on page 46 in Merritt and Yamada's book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture."
Artist - Kajita Hanko (1870 - 1917)
Image Size - 8 1/4" x 11 3/8"
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Backed with paper. Vertical folds, a few creases and stains. Please see photos for details.
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