Hokkei (1780 - 1850) Japanese Woodblock Reprint
Kintaro and the Giant Carp 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. These fine quality suriomono reprints offer a great way to collect these classic designs at an affordable price.
- In the 20th century, artists and publishers collaborated to recreate famous woodblock prints for interested Japanese collectors and Westerners looking for rare designs. New blocks were made, and the prints were painstakingly printed by artisan printers in the same method as the 19th century originals - one block for each color. Woodblock reprints were an opportunity to collect and enjoy a famous design at a small fraction of the price of an original. They still are today.
Comments - Terrific surimono design of the wild boy Kintaro struggling with a giant carp. According to legend, while studying at a temple, Kintaro learned that a giant carp had eaten his mother when she fell into a pool at the foot of Bishamon Waterfall. He immediately left his studies and hunted down and fought the monster to avenge her death. He killed the giant fish and found his mother's remains in its belly. He is shown gripping the thrashing fish with his arms and legs under the rushing water of the falls. A lively scene with wonderful detail in the scales and a few embossed lines to indicate splashing water. A great image.
Artist - Hokkei (1780 - 1850)
Image Size - 8 1/2" x 7 1/4"
Condition - This print with good color and detail as shown. Paper remnant on reverse at right edge from previous mounting. Slight toning. Some prints have slight soiling, a few creases, or a few spots. Please see photos for details. Generally in good condition overall.