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Kuchi-e

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Kokkan Odake, Japanese, (1880–1945)
Two Young Women in Conversation (kuchi-e), c. 1890
Ink on Paper
8 9/16 in. x 11 5/16 in. (21.8 cm x 28.7 cm)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Meiji (Japan, 1869-1912)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2001.2.58


Marks
Signature and red ink seal in the lower right.

Medium
Colored ink woodblock on off-white paper. Aiban yoko-e.

Object Description
Meiji period color woodblock print of two fashionable young women in animated conversation beside a wooden chest and shamisen. May have been made for "Bungei Kurabu," a magazine for arts and literature.

Many of the "kuchi-e" woodblocks were produced as inserts into the popular literary magazine "Bungei Kurabu" during the period 1895 to 1914, although some earlier examples are know to have appeared as early as about 1890. The widely sold literary magazine produced literally thousands of these "kuchi-e" woodblock illustrations in the form of over 230 individual designs.

See: Merritt, Helen; Nanako Yamada, "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture", Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8248-2073-8.

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