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 - Charming design of a beauty standing in the doorway, watching a late autumn shower in her garden. She wears a plum coat over her kimono and obi, bordered with a delicate pattern of leaves and tiny red berries, waiting for the rain to stop before going out. She wears a gold ring on one finger and her hair is pulled back into a large bun ornamented with a blue bow. A bush warbler perches on a stalk of bamboo in the doorway. Beautifully drawn with fine line work. An attractive kuchi-e illustration from the novel "Shigure" (Shower in Late Autumn or Early Winter).
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 11 5/8" x 8 3/4" + top margin as shown
Condition - This print with nice color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. A few creases at edges. Please see photos for details.