Meiji prints

  Design: Mizuno Hidekata (1875-1944)  
  Print title: Writing calligraphy  
  Album/series title: Katei no Hana (Household flowers)  
  Size: 21.6 x 31.2 cm (ōban)  
  Original woodblock print    
  Photography: Jacques Commandeur
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Mizuno Hidekata Katei no hana Writing calligraphy


Special effects: burnishing (sho-men-zuri) on the women’s hair and the black cushion; silver metallic pigments on the women’s hair ornament, collar and the butterflies on her obi, on the fan, on the doorknobs of the closet, and on the paperweight and waterjug on the table.

The low table on the left displays the standard tools and materials typically used in Shodo (i.e., calligraphy): the fude or brushes, the suzuri or ink stone, the bunchin or paper weight used to weight down the paper on which the Japanese characters are written, and the mizusashi or waterjugs needed to obtain the ink by rubbing the ink block on the ink stone and mixing that with water.

Published ca. 1907 by Akiyama Buemon.

This print has a vertical fold in the middle, indicating that it was issued as part of an orihon album (i.e., folding book).

Artist’s name in lower left of the print:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
hiide(ru) excell  
kata person Hidekata

Series title and print number in the light-pink cartouche in the right margin:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
ka house  
tei garden  
no ’s  
hana flower Household flowers,
ku nine print number nine

Faint publisher’s address, telephone number, and firm name in middle of bottom margin (from right to left):

Character Reading Meaning Translation
kyō capital  
shi city Tokyo city,
ni sun  
hon origin  
hashi bridge  
ku district Nihonbashi district,
muro greenhouse  
machi quarter Muro quarter,
san three  
chō house block  
me count suffix 3rd house block,
kyū nine  
ban number  
chi earth, land number 9,
den electricity  
wa conversation  
hon origin  
kyoku office  
go five  
ichi one  
yon four Telephone 
yon four main office 5144,
katsu slide  
kei think  
temple Kokkeidō

Provenance: Artelino

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