Shigenobu I (1787 - 1832) Japanese Woodblock Reprint
Kayuzue: Koshohei Turning Stones into Goats
Surimono - Surimono are an exclusive subcategory of Japanese woodblock prints. Poetry clubs commissioned these designs for distribution to a small audience of members, most often as New Year's greetings. These privately published images included a wonderful range of subjects and lavish printing techniques such as embossing, burnishing, and metallic pigments. Since surimono were not sold commercially, the print runs were very small and original Edo era surimono are incredibly rare in the market today.
During the 1890s, publishers reprinted some of the most popular designs by famous artists like Hokkei, Gakutei, Hokusai and others. In keeping with the surimono tradition, the Meiji printings were equally exquisite, printed with the finest inks and embellished with embossing, lacquered pigments, and other design features. In some cases, the original Edo era prints no longer exist, making the Meiji reprints the only record of these subjects. These fascinating and beautifully printed images continue to delight collectors today.
Comments - Intriguing surimono design of the sennin or immortal Koshohei using his staff to transform stones into goats. He leans forward waving the slender bamboo pole in his hand as the boulder below starts to take on the form of a goat, looking back at him. According to legend, at age fifteen, the goatherd Koshohei decided to take his flock into the mountains and meditate and study magic in a cave. After forty years, his brother found him, and was alarmed by not seeing any goats. Koshohei touched his staff to the boulders lying around, instantly changing them into goats. A terrific image with delicate embossed detail on the robes.
Artist - Shigenobu I (1787 - 1832)
Image Size - 8 1/4" x 7 1/8"
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Slight paper remnants on reverse at edges from previous mounting. Small tear at edge, repaired. Toning, soiling, rubbing, a few creases and stains. Please see photos for details.