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 for the novel "A Cock Crows" (Totenko) of a young beauty holding a partially furled Japanese flag, expressing pride and nationalist sentiment. She kneels next to a rooster crowing to announce the break of day, watching the animal intently, an appropriate subject for the Year of the Cock in 1909 when this print was published. This image appears on page 145 of Merritt and Yamada's book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture." A striking composition.
Artist - Takeuchi Keishu (1847 - 1915)
Image Size - 11 1/2" x 8 1/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with nice color and detail as shown. Horizontal folds. Small repair, a few spots. Please see photos for details.
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