Original Meiji era Japanese Woodblock Print
Fighting Off an Attacker from a Burning Palace Kuchi-e Print
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 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 - Dramatic kuchi-e illustration of a samurai on a verandah thrusting a spear into an attacker during a battle at a palace. Flames and smoke fill the sky behind him and arrows have pierced the wooden supports and the reed blind at right. A striking image, detailed with metallic silver pigment on the spear and the armor.
Artist - Meiji era artist (not read)
Image Size - 12" x 8 1/4" + top margins as shown
Condition - This print with good color and detail as shown. Horizontal and vertical folds. Margins at top and side folded over and glued to reverse. A few small tears at edges, repaired. Creasing and wrinkling, slight toning and soiling. Please see photos for details.