Original Suzuki Kason (1860 - 1919) Japanese Woodblock Print
Autumn Shower Kuchi-e Print, 1904
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 - Interesting kuchi-e illustration for the novel "Autumn Shower." A beauty bites her handkerchief nervously as she reads a newspaper account of the recent battles during the Russo-Japanese War. As she looks down, anxiously twisting the cloth, she imagines the scene inset at upper left, where soldiers are engaged in battle, a man falling backwards as he is hit by enemy fire. She wears a delicately patterned gray and white kimono tied with a striped obi, a wedding ring visible on her hand and a flower adorning her hair. This image appears on page 171 of Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada's recent book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture." A handsome design.
Artist - Suzuki Kason (1860 - 1919)
Image Size - 8 3/4" x 11 1/2" + right margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds, diagonal fold at corner. Small hole, repaired. Light toning and spotting, stains. Please see photos for details.