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Japanese Color Woodblock Print 


by Kasamatsu Shirō, originally 1952

IHL Cat. #18

About This Print

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 da mage, 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 1952 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
 Catalogue Raisonné  U-160 (as listed in Shiro Kasamatsu - The Complete Woodblock Prints, Dr. Andreas Gund, self-published by the author, 2001, Tokyo)
 Kasamatsu Shirō (1898–1991)
 Seal  Shirō
 Date  originally published 1952
 Edition  likely a first, or early (pre- 1960), 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.)
 Publisher  Unsōdō ("Unsōdō han" seal center left margin top-most seal)
 Printer  Shinmi Saburo ("suri Shinmi" seal center left margin 2nd seal down)
 Carver  Nagashima Michio ("hori Nagashima" center left margin 3rd seal down)
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  fair - 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  Oban 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
 Reference Literature
Last revision: 8/6/2018