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 - Fantastic kuchi-e scene of a beauty looking into a hand mirror as she styles her hair. A makeup container and small jar of brushes rest on the stand before her. She wears a plum colored kimono patterned with large flowers with tie-dyed centers, tied with a blue kimono. Most interestingly, a horned demon at left peers at her from over what looks like the folded edge of a paper, watching her intently, resting his chin in his hand. Another blue-faced creature appears above him, looking off into space. An intriguing image for the novel "Beauty in a Home Village" (Kyori no Bijin).
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 8 3/4" x 11 5/8" + top margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Please note, the spots near the right edge are printed polka dots, not stains. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.
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