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KIMURA TOKATURO. - [Kanbo Enkai].

Tokyo, Yoshikawa 1899. folio (370x260mm) printed boards (marked & smudged); accordian folding giving eight double page openings; the first text, the rest coloured woodcuts ranging from two to seven illustrations per opening. One fold separated. ¶ A particularly lovely book - illustrations of ceremonial crowns and hats of varying elaboration by the artist Kimura Tokaturo. Some of the caps which first appear to be simple monochrome shapes have actually been subtly overprinted, capturing their texture. The Kojitsu Sosho - Library of Ancient Customs - was an ambitious project - only god and Japanese bibliographers know how many volumes it ran to during the later Meiji period. Produced in all sorts of sizes and shapes, each captured and preserved in traditional form some part of classical, often aristocratic, culture. The timing of this is no accident. The paired threats to Japanese tradition - from the inroads made by western modernity and the bulk souveniring of art treasures by those westerners - resulted in an industrious revival of historic, nostalgic, nationalism. Again with twin motives: some art was reproduced for the western punters and some for home consumption. I'm not sure where the Kojitsu Sosho fits best but of the albums I've seen, this is maybe my favourite.
AUD 200.00 [Appr.: EURO 133.5 US$ 156.92 | £UK 119.25 | JP¥ 17621] Book number 7247

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