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 groundbreaking book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture." Kuchi-e prints have become highly sought after and collected by the serious collector.
Comments - Terrific kuchi-e design of a mother carrying her small son on her back, both looking at the carp streamer dangling from a pole in his hand. Called koinobori, these carp-shaped wind socks are traditional decorations flown to celebrate Boy's Day in Japan. The scales of the fish are beautifully detailed, as is the beauty's delicate face and hairline. A lovely image.
Artist - Takeuchi Keishu (1847 - 1915)
Image Size - 11 1/2" x 8 5/8"
Condition - This print with good color and detail as shown. Horizontal folds. Small loss at top edge, slight thinning at corners, hole, repaired. Slight toning and soiling, a few creases and spots. Please see photos for details.
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