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 - Charming kuchi-e illustration of beauty with a battledore used for a New Year's Day game similar to badminton. She holds the paddle before her face, as if ready to return the shuttlecock as it approaches. The sacred shimenawa ropes hanging behind her and the pine tree decoration at right are traditionally displayed for the New Year's holiday. A lovely design.
Artist - Takeuchi Keishu (1861 - 1942)
Image Size - 8 1/8" x 11 1/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Slight toning, a few spots. Please see photos for details.