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 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 - 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.