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 - Dramatic kuchi-e depiction of two commoners grabbing hold of a man who has just attacked the fellow at right, the sword in his hand as he falls backwards onto the floor. His victim is bleeding from wounds to his leg, the blood running onto the floor nearby. At overturned hibachi and a fallen screen bear witness to the struggle. An unusual design, detailed with silver mica on the blade of the sword and on the fallen screen. Only the second time we've seen this subject.
Artist - Meiji era artist (not read)
Image Size - 8 1/4" x 10 1/2"
Condition - This print with good color and detail as shown. Vertical and diagonal folds, slight creasing, two light purple seals. Please see photos for details.
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