Original Shoso Mishima (1856 - 1928) Japanese Woodblock Print , 8 3/4" x 11 5/8", 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 of 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 always have two folds, because of their insertion in a magazine or book as an illustrative print.A previously neglected genre of Japanese woodblock art, much interest has been generated in the subject since the publication in 2000 of Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada's groundbreaking book, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture." Kuchi-e prints have become highly sought after and collected by the serious collector.Comments - Intriguing kuchi-e scene of a rather distraught beauty looking over her shoulder as a mirage appears in a cloud of smoke issuing from an ink bottle. The dream features characters from otsu-e, traditional simple folk paintings sold to travelers in Otsu on Lake Biwa near Kyoto. The figures include a yakko or standard bearer, a falconer, and the Wisteria Maiden, all being chased by a small white dog. An officer's cap lies next to the ink bottle and pen. A fascinating image we've never come across before. Includes burnishing on the cap's visor and embossing on the fan.
This print with excellent detail as shown. Vertical centerfold. Paper on reverse at corners and top edge from previous mounting. Slight creasing and soiling, stain. Please see photos for details. Good overall.