Original Toshikata (1866 - 1908) Japanese Woodblock Print
Iyo Blind Kuchi-e Print, 1906
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 - Terrific kuchi-e design of a young woman standing on a verandah, enjoying a breeze on a summer's day. The wind gently blows her long loose hair and ruffles the fine bamboo blind behind her, called an Iyo blind after the well-known blinds made in Iyo in Ehime prefecture. Her circular fan and checked obi feature shimmering silver mica, and her summer cotton kimono features light embossing in some areas. This image appears on page 139 of Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada's book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture." Beautifully printed. A lovely woodblock illustration for the novel "Iyo Blind" (Iyosudare).
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 12 7/8" x 8 3/4"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Horizontal folds. Slight paper remnants on reverse at top corners from previous mounting. Small hole, repaired. Light toning and soiling, a few creases, small stain. Please see photos for details.