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 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 - Interesting kuchi-e illustration from the novel "Loyalty: Oyasu" of a samurai leading away a beauty under arrest, a rope wrapped arounder her upper torso. She pauses to look back over her shoulder as several men carrying large baskets pass in the other direction. The entrance to a castle can be seen at upper left, with the moat and stone embankment at right. The first time we've seen this handsome design, from the literary magazine "Meiji Bunko." Includes burnishing on the beauty's hair.
Artist - Takeuchi Keishu (1861 - 1942)
Image Size - 8 3/4" x 11 7/8"
Condition - This print with good color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Creasing, light stain. Please see photos for details.
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