A Bunraku Puppet Head

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

A Bunraku Puppet Head

by Tokuriki Tomikichirō, 1962

IHL Cat. #275 and #314

About This Print

Two different printings of the head of a bunraku puppet.  These two versions may be artist's proofs as they are not numbered as in the print below (numbered 28/100) which is shown in the Tokuriki-authored instruction guide on making woodblock prints.  The editioned version below has a more uniform printed background and is generally a cleaner printing than the above impressions.

Further suggesting that IHL Cat. #275 is an artist's proof is the offsetting seen on this print's verso from another Tokuriki print Chinese Copper Tiger.


verso of IHL Cat. #275 showing offset from
the artist's print Chinese Copper Tiger (right)

Chinese Copper Tiger, undated
Tokuriki Tomikichiro
(from Wood-block Printing by the artist, p. 60)

A similar print, but using different blocks (see below), is in the collection of The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

TOKURIKI, Tomikichiro
Head of a wooden doll for marionette show
woodcut on paper, 32.2×118.5 cm
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #275 and #314
 Title A Bunraku Puppet Head
 Tokuriki Tomikichirō (1902-2000)
 T. Tokuriki in English script
 Seal "tomi" seal 富
 Date cat. #275 dated 1962; cat. #314 dated 1962.6.8
 Edition number of editions and states is unknown
 Publisher  self-published
 Printer self-printed
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition Cat. #275
 good - offsetting verso; folds lower left margin
 Condition Cat. #314
 good - masking tape remnants verso along perimeter and center bottom barely protruding into image.
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Format oban
 H x W Paper Cat. #275
 15 3/8 x 10 1/4 in. (39.1 x 26cm)
 H x W Image Cat. #275 12 3/8 x 9 1/4 in. (31.4 x 23.5 cm)
 H x W Paper Cat. #314 14 1/8 x 10 3/8 in. (35.9 x 26.4 cm)
 H x W Image Cat. #314 12 1/4 x 9 3/8 in. (31.1 x 23.8 cm)
 Collections This Print The British Museum (1987,0316,0.312)
 Reference Literature Wood-block Printing, Tomikichiro Tokuriki, Hoikusha Publishing Co., Ltd., 1968, p.9.