Original Toshimine (1863 - 1934) Japanese Woodblock Print
Spring Water Kuchi-e Print, 1909
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 illustration for the novel "Haru mizu" (Spring Water). A young woman kneels next to a flowing river, a wooden tub of laundry in her hands. A spring breeze blows the towel around her neck, the edge caught between her teeth. A flowering cherry tree branch is tucked atop the pile of laundry, and a few petals drift through the air and float along with the current. The colorful figure contrasts nicely with the subdued tones of the background. A lovely design.
Artist - Toshimine (1863 - 1934)
Image Size - 11 1/2" x 8 5/8" + top margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Horizontal folds. Stitching holes at top edge, repaired. Slight creasing, a few small marks. Please see photos for details. Good overall.