Yamauba Surimono

by Hokkei (1780 - 1850)

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Yamauba Surimono by Hokkei (1780 - 1850)

Hokkei (1780 - 1850) Japanese Woodblock Reprint
Yamauba Surimono

Surimono - Surimono are an exclusive subcategory of Japanese woodblock prints. Poetry clubs commissioned these designs for distribution to a small audience of members, most often as New Year's greetings. These privately published images included a wonderful range of subjects and lavish printing techniques such as embossing, burnishing, and metallic pigments. Since surimono were not sold commercially, the print runs were very small and original Edo era surimono are incredibly rare in the market today.

During the 1890s, publishers reprinted some of the most popular designs by famous artists like Hokkei, Gakutei, Hokusai and others. In keeping with the surimono tradition, the Meiji printings were equally exquisite, printed with the finest inks and embellished with embossing, lacquered pigments, and other design features. In some cases, the original Edo era prints no longer exist, making the Meiji reprints the only record of these subjects. These fascinating and beautifully printed images continue to delight collectors today.

Comments - A dramatic design from ancient legend of Yamauba, the wild woman of the mountains who raised the orphan hero Kintaro. She wears tattered robes covered with leaves, and leans against a pile of large boulders. The poems above read:

Come springtime,
over her garment of leaves,
the mountain crone
will surely drape a robe sewn
from patches of mist-brocade
-Seiyokan Umeyo

Noticing in spring
that the limbs of her only child
are growing longer,
the mountain crone feels
moved to laugh for joy
-Sanzuntei Kusami

A fantastic image from this famous subject of folklore.

Artist - Hokkei (1780 - 1850)

Image Size - 8 3/8" x 7 1/8"

Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Small loss at corner, repaired. Toning, soiling, staining, a few creases. Please see photos for details.

Yamauba Surimono by Hokkei (1780 - 1850)
Yamauba Surimono by Hokkei (1780 - 1850)