Woman Combing Her Hair

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Woman Combing Her Hair

by Tokuriki Tomikichirō, 1947

IHL Cat. #98
IHL Cat. #1804

About This Print

Two impressions from the same edition of Tokuriki's portrait of his wife combing her hair.  This is one of Tokuriki's iconic sosaku hanga prints. While a number of sources, including the Honolulu Academy of Arts, date the original publication of this print to 1935, Statler (see following paragraph) dates it to 1947, as do the MFA, Boston and The British Museum. 

Source: Modern Japanese Prints, Oliver Statler, Charles E. Tuttle Company, June, 1956, p.199.
Tomikichiro Tokuriki: Woman Combing Her Hair.  Polychrome impression, 13 ¾ x 9 ½ in.  Published in 1947.  Carved, printed, and published by the artist.  Edition: limited to 50 (30 printed to date).  Blocks: 1 block of solid sakura (the line block), 4 blocks of solid ho (color areas); 10 printing stages.  Pigment: Japanese powdered mineral pigments and sumi.  Paper: hosho from Echizen.  Location: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and collection of the author.  Notes:  This is a study of Tokuriki’s wife.

Breaking from the Brush

In commenting on Tokuriki's technique Statler writes "the best of his creative prints, like Woman Combing Her Hair..., show a resolute effort to design with the knife.  'I want to break away from the brush,' says Tokuriki"  referring to moving away from his Japanese-style painting (nihonga) background.

Other Editions, States and Impressions

At least two different states of this print exist - one employing a red background and blue/gray color for the blouse, as in this collection's print pictured above, and one using orange for the background with pink for the blouse, as can be seen in the prints below from the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Shogun Gallery. 

While the Shogun Gallery website indicates that the orange and pink state was limited to an edition of 100, the edition size for this state is not noted on the LACMA or MFA, Boston notations for the print, nor is it shown on the front of the Shogun Gallery print.  This leads me to believe that this state of the print was an unnumbered edition.

Statler, in his technical notes on the print (see above) gives the edition size as 50, indicating a possible other edition of an unknown state.  The image of the print in the Statler book is a poor resolution black and white photograph and no color information, other than "polychrome", is provided.

As to the red and blue/gray state of the print, four of the six below examples, along with this collection's print, are numbered as part of an edition of 100 impressions.  The Honolulu Academy of Arts print carries neither edition number, seal or signature and it is noted that it is a "later printing" published by Matsukyū   [末詳 (まつ九)] (the publishing house Tokuriki set up after WWII.)  Unfortunately, the web entry for the print in the British Museum's collection has neither an image nor detailed information.

It appears that the same blocks were used for both states of the print.  While the placement of the artist's signature and seal (and the form of the signature and seal) vary from print to print, it does not indicate a different block as both the signature and seal are not carved in the block and were hand applied.

Finally, the Shogun Gallery impression has the name of Tokuriki's publishing house Koroku-Sya (a sub-company of his Matsukyū publishing venture) written in the bottom margin.

Orange and Pink State

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Woman Combing Her Hair, 20th century
Print, Woodblock print; ink and color on paper,
Image: 12 5/16 x 9 1/2 in. (31.02 x 24.01 cm);
Sheet: 12 3/4 x 10 3/16 in. (32.05 x 25.08 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Felix Juda (M.79.176.87)

Shogun Gallery website
Dated: 1935 (My note: publishing date was 1947.)  
Signed: Tomi Tokuriki
Ltd. Ed.: 100

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Woman Combing Her Hair 髪を梳く美人
Japanese, Shôwa era, 1947
Artist: Tokuriki Tomikichiro, Japanese, 1902–2000 Kyoto, Japan
Image: 37.6 x 26.3 cm (14 13/16 x 10 3/8 in.)

Woodblock print
Classification: Prints
A woman combing her hair. Orange ground and pink blouse.
Seals: Tomi
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Accession number: 65.1118

Red and Blue/Grey State

Arts and Designs Japan From Catalog 25 October 2003
Artist Tokuriki
Title Woman combing her hair
Signed T. Tokuriki
Date 1935 (My note: publishing date was 1947.)
Edition 61/100
Format 11 1/8" X 16 1/2"
Impression Fine
Condition Excellent color
Illustrated JTB Vol. 10, p. 109

Image from Ronin Gallery
Inventory Number R01469
Artist Tokuriki
Title Woman Medium Woodblock
Print Date 1947
Size 16" x 11"
Edition 83/100
Signature Signed in Pencil T Tokuriki
Condition Excellent color, impression and state, full margins

Merlin Dailey Gallery

Scan of image appearing in Japanese Wood-block Prints,
Shizuya Fujikake, Japan Travel Bureau, 1938 revised 1949

Tokuriki Tomikichiro (1902-1999)
Portrait of the artist's wife, 1935
Woodcut, signed in pencil in Roman script Tokuriki, in ink Tomi and numbered 89/100--good impression and color, stray red ink from printing in right margin, one tiny stain top margin edge at right
16 x 10 5/8in. (40.6 x 27cm.)
Japanese Art Including Property of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Christie's Sale 1638 28 March 2006

 Woman Combing Her Hair
Date: 1935
Artist: Tokuriki Tomikichirö , 1902 - 1999
Publisher: Matsukyü (later printing)
Carver: Unknown (Japanese Art)
Printer: Unknown (Japanese Art)
Medium: Color woodblock print Technique: Nishiki-e (Woodblock print with color blocks)
Credit Line: Gift of Philip H. Roach, Jr., 1997 (26377)
Inventory Number: 26377

Honolulu Academy of Arts

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #98, #1804
 Title Woman Combing Her Hair (a.k.a. A Woman Dressing Her Hair, Portrait of the Artist's Wife)
 Tokuriki Tomikichiro (1902-2000)

IHL Cat. #98: Tokuriki in pencil within image

IHL Cat. #1804: Tokuriki in pencil in lower left margin

富 tomo seal in lower left corner of image
 Date 1947
 Edition IHL Cat. #98: 51 of 100
 IHL Cat., #1804: 36 of 100
(actual number of editions and states is unknown - see discussion above.)
 Publisher  self-published
 Printer self-printed
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition IHL Cat. #98: good - slight foxing, toning and soiling; side and bottom margins trimmed to image
 IHL Cat. #1804: - light toning; tape remnants corner verso
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Format oban
 H x W Paper IHL Cat. #98: 13 5/8 x 9 7/16 in. (34.6 x 24 cm)
 IHL Cat. #1804: 14 1/4 x 10 7/16 in. (36.2 x 26.5 cm)
 H x W Image IHL Cat. #98: 12 3/4 x 9 3/8 in. (32.4 x 23.8 cm)
 IHL Cat. #1804 12 3/4 x 9 3/8 in. (32.4 x 23.8 cm)
 Collections This Print Los Angeles County Museum of Art M.79.176.87; The British Museum 1987,0316,0.311; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 65.1118; Honolulu Academy of Art 26377 (no seals or dating)
 Reference Literature Japanese Wood-block Prints, Shizuya Fujikake, Japan Travel Bureau, 1938 revised 1949; Modern Japanese Prints, Oliver Statler, Charles E. Tuttle Company, June, 1956, p.126,199; Wood-block Printing, Tomikichiro Tokuriki, Hoikusha Publishing Co., Ltd., 1968, p. 64.
latest revision: