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 illustration for the novel "Kyokusui" (Meandering Stream). A beauty plays the koto at right, leaning over the instrument with a smile, a lantern burning nearby. She wears a blue kimono patterned with leaves floating on water, tied with a plum colored obi. The page appears to fold over at left to reveal a scene of a samurai in an interior, a pained expression on his face. The moon glows softly outside the window, and his sword rests on the floor behind him. An interesting design with fine burnished detail in the beauty's hair.
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 8 5/8" x 11 7/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Backed with paper. Slight soiling. Please see photos for details. Good overall.
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