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 - Lovely kuchi-e portrait of a beauty traveling in the fall, walking through tall autumn grasses as pale gray clouds drift across the full moon at upper left. She lifts the traveling veil from her hat as she pauses to looks back over her shoulder, the breeze blowing the fabric and the sleeves of her light blue kimono. An attractive illustration for the novel "Aki no Tabi" (Travel in Autumn).
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 11 5/8" x 8 5/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Horizontal folds. Small tear at edge, repaired. Wrinkling throughout, slight toning and soiling, a few spots. Please see photos for details.