Woodblock pint by Torii Kotondo (1900-1976) (Ishukankokai Published Limited Edition Commemorative reprint) - Morning Hair (Asa Negami) - from the series 'Twelve Aspects of Women' - 1980s
This design is considered by many collectors as THE masterpiece of Kotondo. It was used as a cover illustration of the book "The New Wave", amongst others
The original is from 1930
The term Asa Negami (literally meaning "the hair of someone who gets up late") is evocative for the morning following a romantic encounter. This crossed the line for the Japanese authorities in 1930 and the image was banned under the "Peace Preservation Law from 1928" . The image of the comb bottom right in particular was regarded as sexually suggestive . The story goes that after only 70 images being printed, the police confiscated the woodblocks and the unsold prints and then destroyed everything. That makes this print very rare and there are probably no more than about 30 originals on the market.
Torii Kotondo is one of the most famous shin-hanga artists of the 20th century. He excelled in the art of women's prints. His output is limited and only consists of a total of 22 works. Moreover, the number of prints produced from each image was only 100 (so even fewer offered prints, please see above), after which the blocks were destroyed. Original Kotondo prints are one of the most sought after woodblock images today and very expensive.
With permission of Kotondo's heirs, a small commemorative edition of 12 of his prints was produced by Publisher Ishukankokai (only 100 sets of the 12 images, the woodblocks were destroyed afterwards). These reprints were made according to the exact same standards as the originals. Expert woodcarvers were contracted and they produced woodblocks of the highest quality. The printers then made the reprints with the same attention to quality and detail as the originals. These fantastically beautiful reprints, printed on handmade paper, have the same colours and mica details as the originals.
The print offered comes from this commemorative edition. According to all sources about this commemorative edition, the size of it is only 100 editions. That makes this print rare and it only sporadically appears on the market
Because of the size of the print, it is difficult to take a well detailed photo. To provide a good overview of the print, a mix of camera and scanner was used:
- images 1, 2 10-15 were made with a scanner
- images 3-9, 16-20 were made with a camera
Kotondo's signature and seal in the image
In left margin:
Red 'money bag' seal by publisher Ishukankokai
Woodcarver's name and seal of Koike Shigeru
Printer's name and seal of Watenabe Yoshiaki
Watermark of publisher Ishukankokai
The print is sold with its original presentation folder. The print is in a beautiful inner folder enclosed in paper and protective lining within a sturdy outer folder. Please see photos 17-20
Large oban size:
Image measurements (margins not included): 26 x 41 cm
Total dimensions: 33 x 48.5 cm
The woodblock print is in good condition. A number of folds/creases top left of the middle and top right, mainly in the margins (please see images 1-3, 20). This type of fold is often seen in this image. Excellent colours and very fine line work (please see the hairs, for example). Very detailed woodcarving. Fantastic bokashi shading (gradation of colours) in the face and hand on which the head rests. Light embossing in the green mosquito net. A perfect duplication of Kotondo's original. Please see the images for details.
The woodblock print will be shipped by registered post, in sturdy cardboard packaging.
- Woodcut (Ishukankokai Published Commemorative Reprint)
- Region/ Country of origin
- Artist/ Maker
- Torii Kotondo (1900-1976)
- Title of artwork
- Morning Hair (Asa Negami)- uit de serie 'Twelve Aspects of Women'
- Good condition, see description
- 0×26×41 cm