Original Toshikata (1866 - 1908) Japanese Woodblock Print
Satsuki Mezaka, 1899
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 scene for the novel "Satsuki Mezaki" of a Heian era beauty handing a letter to a young girl to deliver. She smiles as she looks down at the child, who leans forward with her hand outstretched to take the message. The artist's signature appears at lower right as if on a corner of a page rolled over. The first time we've offered this kuchi-e design.
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 8 5/8" x 11" + right margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. A few small holes, repaired. Slight soiling and creasing, a few small spots. Please see photos for details.