This beautiful set of 7 plates plus cover booklet is sweet, colorful, and intricate in its composition and detail. Published sometime during the Meiji era (1868-1912), believed to be in the 1890s, we’re unable to find a complete set; Harvard University has some of the plates, but not a complete set either. Each plates measures 7″x9.5″ and shows a scene in the traditional education of young ladies.
The Woodblock Prints
This set of roughly chuban-sized prints is in fine and very fine condition. Each has been folded vertically in order to fit into the book cover; five are intact, two have separated at the seam. The prints themselves are on a thicker paper stock so there isn’t bleed through. Vibrant color.
About the Artist
Adachi Ginkō (1853-1908) was a prominent Japanese printmaker known for his contributions to the art of woodblock printing during the Meiji era. Born in Tokyo, Japan, Ginkō developed his artistic skills under the tutelage of Kawase Bunyō, an influential painter and printmaker of the time. Ginkō’s early training in painting laid a solid foundation for his later work in woodblock prints (Kikuchi, 2017).
Ginkō’s artistic style was influenced by the ukiyo-e tradition, particularly the works of Utagawa Hiroshige. He admired Hiroshige’s ability to capture the beauty of landscapes and cityscapes, and he incorporated similar elements into his own prints. Ginkō’s depictions of nature, including landscapes, flowers, and birds, reflected his deep appreciation for the natural world (Yamaguchi, 2000).
Ginkō’s woodblock prints showcased his mastery of composition, capturing serene scenes with meticulous attention to detail. He skillfully employed a delicate and harmonious color palette, blending subtle shades to create a sense of atmosphere and tranquility (Kikuchi, 2017).
While Ginkō himself did not have any notable students, his work had a lasting impact on the world of woodblock printing. His innovative approach to color and composition inspired future generations of printmakers, including notable artists such as Watanabe Seitei and Terazaki Kōgyō. Ginkō’s artistic achievements helped pave the way for the development of the Shin-Hanga movement, which aimed to revive and innovate the traditional woodblock printmaking technique (Yamaguchi, 2000).
Kikuchi, S. (2017). Adachi Ginkō and His Woodblock Prints: Meiji Japan’s Preeminent Printmaker. Tokyo: Tokyo Shinbun Shuppan.
Yamaguchi, K. (2000). Ukiyo-e: An Introduction to Japanese Woodblock Prints. Kodansha International.