Tokyo: Kokkeido, circa 1920.
A rare work by a celebrated female Japanese artist, Mizuno Hidekata (1875– 1944). Hidekata was one of the first popular professional female ukiyo-e artists, specialising in genre scenes and the reappraisal of Bijin (pictures of beautiful women), also working on illustrations for Sh jo Sekai, Jogaku Sekai, among other magazines. Hidekata studied under Mizuno Toshikata, whom she later married. Despite being a forerunner for professional twentieth century female artists in Japan, it is hard to find her works today.
The woodcuts in this attractive album are beautiful, balanced, executed in lovely colours, several highlighted with silver. Prints depict scenes with kimono-attired women and girls in various sensitive settings titled: as, at springtime; a slight token of esteem; sudden shower; the beginning of the year; the odour of the plum blossoms; after school, with captions in Japanese and English.
Worldcat offers the location of only one copy in the National Diet Library in Tokyo, with not a single copy found in Western institutions.
Japanese binding in original cushioned decorated cloth with printed title label, double-sided folded book measuring 7.5 x 24 cm, twelve coloured double-page woodblock prints + one colour double-page woodblock-printed title page, some light browning at outer edges in a few cases, one plate with small repair at margin, near fine.
Price (AUD): $7,500.00 other currencies