Lot 00738
N.1 kuchi-e woodblock print
Year: 1899
Condition: very good
Size: 27,5 x 21,5 cm



Fascinating woodblock print of the kuchi-e (口絵) type, made by the artist Suzuki Kason (鈴木華邨) as the frontispiece of the novel “Kintaiki” (錦帯記), that is “The Story of the Brocade Sash”, by the novelist and playwright Izumi Kyoka (泉鏡花). In the foreground the protagonist: a wicked, famous, and beautiful woman named Orei (お禮).

Orei is pictured here smoking a cigarette, a reference to the “Isabella” tobacco plant that appears at the beginning of the text. Behind her the ghostly figures of the tenants of a dilapidated tenement house owned by the woman. The latter will come into conflict with them and, in the end, they will be murdered.

The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), produced in February 1899 by the publisher Shunyodo (春陽堂) in Tokyo, despite the right signs of aging including a couple of tiny holes, is in very good condition.