Original Toshikata (1866 - 1908) Japanese Woodblock Print
Jakko-in Temple Kuchi-e Print, 1901
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 - Lovely kuchi-e print depicting the 12th century Empress Tokuko, who became a nun following the death of her five-year-old son, the Emperor Antoku, at the famous Battle of Dan-no-ura. She is shown wearing formal court dress with layers of exquisite kimono, her long dark hair flowing over her shoulders. A subdued image in the background shows two nuns at the temple where she retreated from the world. Beautifully detailed with accents of silver mica on the kimono fabric and burnishing on the black hair. A wonderful illustration for the novel "Jakko-in Temple" by Miyake Seiken. This image appears on page 44 of Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada's groundbreaking book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture."
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 8 5/8" x 11 1/2" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Vertical folds. Toning, a few small spots and light creases. Please see photos for details.