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 - Attractive kuchi-e design of a mother and daughter returning home from the end-of-the-year market. The beauty carries a stick of ground cherries while her daughter cradles a package shaped like a hagoita or decorative battledore used for a traditional New Year's Day game similar to badminton. The mother wears a knitted or crocheted purple shawl pinned at the neck over her sage green kimono, while her daughter wears a tan robe patterned with colorful leaves and grasses. She pauses to watch as two men pass the other direction, carrying a large pine decoration for the upcoming holiday. An attractive image with delicate line work and soft shading.
Artist - Toshimine (1863 - 1934)
Image Size - 8 1/2" x 12 1/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. A few paper remnants on reverse at edges from previous mounting. Vertical folds, diagonal folds at corner. Slight toning, a few creases. Please see photos for details.