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Japanese Color Woodblock Print 


by Kasamatsu Shirō, originally 1954

IHL Cat. #18

About This Print

Similar in composition to Tea Ceremony (IHL Cat. #8 and #117), a woman with hasami in hand, arranges flowers.

The Original Woodblocks for this Print

The following is excerpted from the article "Shiro Kasamtasu - A Glimpse at the Blocks," by Andreas Grund about his 2003 trip to Unsodo Publishing House in Kyoto.  The complete article can be found at the Ukiyo-e
Gallery website http://www.ukiyoe-gallery.com/kasablocks.htm

As we can see, during storage each carved face is separated by several layers of newsprint to prevent scratches and damage, with the set of blocks is tied together with a cord. Some of the apparent aging of these old cords tells us how long already the blocks have been stored tied together. On top of each stack is one original print, sometimes two or three for immediate identification and probably an aid for the printer to correctly match the colors for the later reprints. For me, as a collector I somehow feel pain, seeing such excellent prints abused as merely "wrapping paper."

As an aside--another print, "Ikebana" (#U-102), which had not previously been precisely dated in the "Complete Kasamatsu" book has just recently been discovered in a margin-dated state. By reading its "kanji" date ("Showa niju nana nen saku"), we now know with certainly that "Ikebana" was created in 1954 and not merely "around 1960" as Unsodo of Tokyo had surmised when asked about this print several years ago.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #18
 Title Ikebana 生花
 Kasamatsu Shirō (1898–1991)
Shirō 紫浪
 Seal Shirō 紫浪 (see above)
originally published 1954
 Edition likely a first edition as indicated by date in Kanji on the bottom of the left margin (For more information on dating Unsōdō prints see the article Unsōdō Publishing.)
Unsōdō Publishing
芸艸堂 版 Unsōdō han seal bottom left margin top-most seal
Shinmi Saburō 新味三朗
Nagashima Michio 長嶋道男
 彫 長嶋 "hori Nagashima" bottom left margin 3rd seal down
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition poor - mat line around perimeter of image; heavy toning verso, light toning front; tape across top and bottom margins verso
 Genre shin hanga (new prints)
 Format ōban tate-e
 H x W Paper 16 x 10 1/2 in. (40.6 x 26.7 cm)
 H x W Image 14 3/8 x 9 1/2 in. (36.5 x 24.1 cm)
 Collections This Print Catalogue Raisonné: U-160 as listed in Shiro Kasamatsu - The Complete Woodblock Prints, Dr. Andreas Gund, self-published by the author, 2001;
 Reference Literature
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