A stunning shin-hanga portrait of a beauty (bijin-ga) taking a hairpin from her elegant hairstyle, looking over her shoulder as she hears the call of a Lesser Cuckoo (hototogisu). She wears an intricately patterned tie-dyed kimono with a subtle embossed texture over a red under robe, tied with a violet obi. Her hair is pulled smoothly back with soft wings over her ears, held in place with a comb and ribbons and adorned with hairpins. A soft peach and yellow glow comes from the lantern next to her, and her cheeks and ear are flushed with delicate pink.
This print is an exquisite design by Takane Koko (also known as Takane Koji), of whom only three beauty prints are known, both published by Dareisha in the 1930s. Beautifully printed with fine bokashi shading and elegant line work, Takane’s works are rarely seen on the market.
The Woodblock Print
This oban-sized woodblock is in excellent condition; original thin paper in excellent condition without any foxing or toning. Clean and intact margins, clean verso (two small hinge remaining on the top edge). While you can see the chain lines in the paper in the scan, these aren’t visible in normal light.
About the Artist
Koko Takane designed prints of beautiful women, bijin-ga, in the 1930s. There have only been three designs known by him to date, all published by Daireisha.