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Mamehon (Miniature Artist Books)


豆本 (まめほん)

About Mamehon

Source: Hanga Gallery website http://www.hanga.com/genre/actors/ and the website of JapanesePrints-London http://www.japaneseprints-london.com/6024/shiba-shin-nigao-e-published-1915/

Literally "bean book", the term Mamehon "is used by Japanese bibliophiles for a book smaller than than an ordinary pocket book, which has been artistically printed and bound, issued in a limited edition, and made exclusively to appeal to the refined taste of a collector." [
UCLA Librarian Volume 15, Number 16, June 8, 1962, p. 113-114] Although miniature books have a history going back to the Edo period, modern Mamehon date from the post-War period, with the first books issued in 1953. Modern Mamehon are roughly 4 x 3 in. (10 x 8 cm) and contain graphic art, essays, poems and stories. The art takes the form of woodblock prints and even paintings, which are tipped into pages. As in the case of this collection's mamehon, Kyūshū mamehon No. 20, calligraphy was also occasionally featured.

Some of the woodblock prints, are specifically ex libris and others simply