Original Shoso Mishima (1856 - 1928) Japanese Woodblock Print
Black Shadow Kuchi-e Print, 1895
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 typcially have one or two vertical folds, because of their insertion in a magazine or book as an illustrative print.
Much interest has been generated in the subject since the publication in 2000 of Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada's groundbreaking 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 scene of a beauty listening to the song of a cricket. She leans over her book, a round fan pressed against her face as she looks to the side with a dreamy expression. The large fan-shaped inset behind her shows a full moon peeking above clouds, with a cricket crawling along the edge of the fan at upper left and delicate greenery in gray silhouette. She wears a purple striped kimono tied with a colorful checked obi, adding a lively note in contrast to the subdued background. Beautifully detailed with burnishing on the hair. An attractive illustration for the novel "Mushi no oto."
Artist - Shoso Mishima (1856 - 1928)
Image Size - 8 5/8" x 11" + right margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Slight toning and offsetting. Please see photos for details.