N.1 kuchi-e woodblock print
Year: 1896
Condition: good
Size: 28 x 22 cm



Beautiful original woodblock print of the kuchi-e (口絵) type taken from vol. 2 n. 4 of the literary magazine Bungei Kurabu (文芸倶楽部). The work was made by the artist Tomioka Eisen (富岡永洗) as the frontispiece of a novel, by the journalist and writer Chizuka Reisui (遅塚麗水), entitled “Hoken Musume” (保険娘), that is “The Insurance Girl”.

The aforementioned novel is an interesting testimony of the ongoing attempt in the Meiji period (明治時代) to promote the financial and economic literacy of the population, in particular following the encounter of the Japanese market with Western models. And indeed, today Japan represents one of the largest and most sophisticated insurance markets in the world, a remarkable achievement given the relatively late arrival of insurance products to its shores.

The print, produced in March 1896 by the Hakubunkan (博文館) publishing house, despite the right signs of aging and a ripple of the paper visible on the left of the sheet, is in good general condition.