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Bunraku Puppet Head

Kinkakuji in Snow from the set Four Seasons of Kyoto

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Bunraku Puppet Head

by Kamei Tōbei, c. 1949

Rice Planting
IHL Cat. #315

About This Print

This print of a puppeteer's hand holding a bunraku puppet head (likely a "shako mage" used for knowing, vivacious women of middle age*) is from a numbered edition of 200 prints issued by Kōrokusha 紅録社the publishing house jointly created by Kamei Tōbei  (1901-1977)Tokuriki Tomikichiro (1902-2000) and Kotozuka Eiichi (1906-1979).  At least one other numbered edition of this print exists (see below). 

*see Bunraku: The Art of the Japanese Puppet Theatre, Donald Keene and Hiroshi Kaneko, Kodansha International, Ltd., 1965, p. 229.

Number 9 from an edition of 20 prints, dated 1949


                details of markings verso


possibly another edition

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #315
 Title Bunraku Puppet Head
 Kamei Tōbei  (1901-1977)
 Kamei Tōbei printed on front and T. Kamei written in English script on verso
 Seal no artist's seal on this edition
 Date c. 1949
 Edition 11/200 written in pencil on verso
Kōrokusha ban 紅録社 ばん -a subdivision of Matsukyū まつ九 [Marks: pub. ref. U219], formed by the artist's  Kamei Tōbei  (1901-1977), Tokuriki Tomikichiro (1902-2000) and Kotozuka Eiichi (1906-1979)]. 
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - light toning; light wrinkling upper right margin; mounting residue verso on 2 top corners
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Miscellaneous silver mica used as highlight in background
 Format oban
 H x W Paper 13 3/4 x 9 1/2 in. (34.9 x 24.1 cm)
 H x W Image
 12 x 8 1/2 in. (30.5 x 21.6 cm)
 Collections This Print Harvard Art Museum 1978.239; Honolulu Museum of Art 25984
 Reference Literature Japanese Wood-block Prints, Shizuya Fujikake, Japan Travel Bureau, 1938 revised 1949, unnumbered plate
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