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Nakamura Fusetsu, Takahama Kyoshi, Kawahigashi Hekigodo & Natsume Soseki. - [Fusetsu Haiga].

Tokyo, Kokado 1910 (Meiji 43). Two volumes 30x17cm publisher's cloth* wrappers, title labels (the first a touch nibbled); 20 colour woodcuts by Fusetsu in each volume plus woodcut titles and another colour print in the second; Natsume Soseki's preface printed as a manuscript in umber. In a cloth case missing its clasps, title label stamped with five red seals including what looks to be Fusetsu's and at least one of the other contributor's own seals (that on the title of the second volume). A remarkably bright copy of a book prone to foxing. ¶ Is this a large paper or deluxe copy? The first thing that struck me when these arrived was how tall they are and I can't find a record of any other copy much less than an inch shorter (and thinner when a clear enough picture is available). Or is it just that copies measured and catalogued as first editions aren't? This copy does not have and never had the publisher's announcements and colophon at the end of each volume like the copy reproduced by the NDL. Haiga - the mix of picture and haiku - is by 1910 very old school and Fusetsu's drawings have a direct lineage to Buson. But Fusetsu was a star of the generation that studied western painting and went on to forge a new style of Japanese painting which, given ink and paper and freed from the weight of oil, canvas and the academy, breathed life back into Japanese drawing with the same sharp eye but more affection than their European contemporaries, making the best of those draughtsmen look a bit mean and studied. *Neither can I find another copy bound with what looks like a loose weave muslin.
AUD 800.00 [Appr.: EURO 501.75 US$ 559.18 | £UK 417.5 | JP¥ 64426] Book number 10833

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