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Ehon mushi erami

Ehon mushi erami

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Ehon mushi erami

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This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Boston, Massachusetts
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About This Item

Edo: Tsutaya Jusaburo, 1823. Kitagawa Utamaro. (19), (15)pp. Likely third edition. Masterfully illustrated with fifteen prints by Kitagawa Utamaro, softly colored and finely detailed, showing insects and reptiles tucked among lush plants. Each spread is accompanied by a pair of flowing 31-syllable kyoka poems, humorously relating the sentiments of love to insects. In the preface, the compiler, Yadoya no Meshimori, relates the "origin" of the poems: he and his companions had gone down to the River Sumida one night to listen to the insects, and had engaged in a poetry-writing competition. However, Asano and Clark posit, "It is more likely that the whole project was proposed and carried out from start to finish by the publisher Tsutaya Jusaburo, himself taking the central role." A publisher's note in the back solicits kyoka submissions for three future volumes on the themes of birds, fish, and animals. (Momochidori Kyoka is on birds, and Shiohi no Tsuto is on seashells rather than fish; the volume on animals was never published.) Although this is the earliest of Utamaro's nature studies, it is by no means the least skillful. Hillier accurately describes the marriage of Utamaro's artistry with the technical precision of the printing: "the perfection of the detail, the fineness of the lines, the range of colour, the gradation of tone, the addition of mica to the wings of insects, all reach a degree of refinement that has never been excelled." This edition of the work is bound in stenciled blue covers decorated in gold with pine trees and clouds, and is missing the postscript by Toriyama Seiken. Unlike the edition with woodblock printed covers, this edition has horizontal chain lines. Examples of this edition can be found in the Rijksprentenkabinet of Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Kunsthalle Bremen Collection, and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Volume one has a broken string and one short worm track, professionally filled in, and both volumes show some soil and wear to the covers although the interior is bright and clean. Housed together in four-flap chitsu of green cloth with a blank gold label, hinges weak and missing one clasp. (Hillier, pp. 409-414; Ryerson, pp. 220-221; Rijksprentenkabinet Catalogue of the Collection of Japanese Prints Part II, no. 85; Kunsthalle Bremen, p. 224; Asano and Clark 463).


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Bromer Booksellers US (US)
Bookseller Inventory #
Ehon mushi erami
Kitagawa Utamaro
Book condition
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Tsutaya Jusaburo
Place of Publication
Date published
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Illustrated Books;

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Bromer Booksellers

All books are guaranteed as described and may be returned, with prior notice, within ten days. All bills are payable within thirty days from the date of the invoice. Shipping and insurance are additional. Overseas shipments will be sent by air mail unless otherwise instructed.

About the Seller

Bromer Booksellers

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since: 2008
Boston, Massachusetts
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About Bromer Booksellers

Bromer Booksellers specializes in rare and beautiful books, as well as highspots of literature. Owned and operated by Anne and David Bromer, who have been in the business of fine books for nearly fifty years, our shop carries a range of important private press books, designer bookbindings, literary first editions, illustrated books from the fifteenth century to the present, children's books, and miniature books.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...[more]
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...[more]

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