Original Kobori Tomoto (1864 - 1931) Japanese Woodblock Print
Nasu no Yoichi Kuchi-e Print, 1912
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 - Handsome kuchi-e portrait of the famous Minamoto archer Nasu no Yoichi, who earned fame for an incredible feat of archery during the Battle of Yashima. The Taira set a fan atop a pole on one of their ships and dared the Minamoto to knock it off. Nasu no Yoichi rode out into the water on his horse and fired an arrow, sending the fan flying. He is shown here on the shore, holding his horse by the bridle, looking out to sea. He grips his bow in the other hand, a quiver of arrows at his back. Wonderful detail in the armor and weapons. A great illustration of this notable samurai.
Artist - Kobori Tomoto (1864 - 1931)
Image Size - 11 7/8" x 8 1/2" + left margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Horizontal folds. Small hole, repaired. Creasing, slight soiling, a few marks. Please see photos for details.