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 - Attractive kuchi-e scene of a pair of beauties reading a letter together, the woman at left smiling happily. She wears a pale orange kimono, loosely draped about her, her hair hanging loose beside her face. Her companion leans forward with interest, her rather disheveled hair held back with a narrow sash. Her kimono features sprays of pastel colored leaves and tie-dyed red and white squares, bordered with a geometric pattern in metallic pigment that has oxidized to a dark tone. An interesting design.
Artist - Kajita Hanko (1870 - 1917)
Image Size - 7 3/8" x 10" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with nice detail as shown. Vertical folds. Stain, stamped number 3 at top right, a few creases. Please see photos for details.
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