RED IN THE EASTERN SKY (Takeuchi Keishu)

N.1 kuchi-e woodblock print
Year: 1909
Condition: very good
Size: 21,5 x 28,5 cm



A young woman holds a Hinomaru (日の丸) flag while, crouched, observes a totenko (東天紅鶏), that is a cock associated, as well as the flag of the sun, with the cult of Amaterasu (天照) and whose long crowing in the morning was believed to chase, according to the Shinto (神道) tradition, the evil spirits dwelling in the night.

Totenko (東天紅), a compound of three ideograms that can also be translated “red in the eastern sky”, is the title of the novel published in vol. 15 n. 1 of 1909 of the famous literary magazine Bungei Kurabu (文芸倶楽部) and illustrated by this refined kuchi-e (口絵) frontispiece by the artist Takeuchi Keishu (武内桂舟).

The fine woodblock print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), produced by the Hakubunkan (博文館) publishing house, despite the right patina of the time is in very good condition.