On My Own Kuchi-e Print, 1896

by Shoso Mishima (1856 - 1928)

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On My Own Kuchi-e Print, 1896 by Shoso Mishima (1856 - 1928)

Original Shoso Mishima (1856 - 1928) Japanese Woodblock Print
On My Own Kuchi-e Print, 1896

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 print featuring a student in his shabby room, leaning over a low table as he studies a book. He seems engrossed in his reading, his head resting on his hand, a container of brushes, an inkwell, and a stack of books nearby. The inset at right shows a beauty holding a small white kitten to her cheek, a pained expression on her face. The cat playfully bats at one of the three butterflies fluttering around. She wears a black kimono lined with red, one sleeve trailing over the edge of the inset, and her hair is pulled back into a sleek bun detailed with delicate burnishing. An intriguing scene for the novel "On My Own," nicely detailed with cloth embossing on the background of the inset and burnishing on the beauty's hair. This image appears on page 108 of Merritt and Yamada's book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture."

Artist - Shoso Mishima (1856 - 1928)

Image Size - 8 1/8" x 10 3/4"

Condition - This print with good color and detail as shown. Vertical fold. A few creases and small spots. Please see photos for details.

On My Own Kuchi-e Print, 1896 by Shoso Mishima (1856 - 1928)
On My Own Kuchi-e Print, 1896 by Shoso Mishima (1856 - 1928)

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