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Title: TOOLS AND MATERIALS ILLUSTRATING THE JAPANESE METHOD OF - COLOUR-PRINTING
Author: Strange, Edward
Language: English
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                  VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM CATALOGUES



TOOLS AND MATERIALS ILLUSTRATING THE JAPANESE METHOD OF COLOUR-PRINTING

    A DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE OF A COLLECTION EXHIBITED IN THE MUSEUM



                            By Edward Strange



London
PUBLISHED BY HIS MAJESTY’S STATIONERY OFFICE

1913
            [THE MAKING OF COLOUR-PRINTS—WOMEN AS ENGRAVERS.]

UTAMARO.—Yedo Meibutsu Nishikiye Kosaku. “The making of colour-prints, the
famous product of Yedo: after the engraver’s rough engraving the design is
    carefully carved.”  An illustration of the carving of wood-blocks
    fancifully represented as being done by women. From a print in the
                   Victoria and Albert Museum. J. 5040.



CONTENTS


PREFATORY NOTE
HISTORICAL NOTE
THE DRAWING
CUTTING THE BLOCK
PRINTING
PAPER
BOOKS OF REFERENCE



PREFATORY NOTE


Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design, for use primarily in
connection with a collection of Tools, Materials and Examples, specially
brought together and now exhibited in the Museum, to illustrate the
technique of Japanese Colour-printing from wood-blocks. The descriptive
matter has been somewhat amplified, in order to render it of value to
those who cannot immediately refer to the Museum collections.

The works of reference consulted, are named herein; and acknowledgment
must also be made to Mr. Hogitaro Inada, for translations from the
Japanese, kindly supplied by him.

                                                              CECIL SMITH.
Victoria and Albert Museum, 1913.

                          ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


UTAMARO.—Yedo Meibutsu Nishikiye Kosaku. “The making of colour-prints, the
famous product of Yedo: after the engraver’s rough engraving the design is
carefully carved.”  An illustration of the carving of wood-blocks
fancifully represented as being done by women. From a print in the
Victoria and Albert Museum. J. 5040.
DIAGRAM:——Method of framing a block to prevent warping.
DIAGRAM:—The _Baren._—Its internal construction
DIAGRAM:—The _Baren._—Position of pad in sheath.
DIAGRAM:—The _Baren._—Method of use.
DIAGRAM:—Printer’s Desk.
HOKUSAI.—Original drawing for the key-block of an unpublished colour-print
in the series called “The Hundred Poets explained by the Nurse.” A junk,
with straw sail, conveying three travellers; at the bow a breaking wave.
At the top right-hand corner is a poem by Hoshoji no Nyudo Saki no
Kwampaku Daijo Daijin.  O’er the wide sea plain, / As I row and look
around, It appears to me / That the white waves, far away, / Are the
ever-shining sky. From a drawing in the Victoria and Albert Museum. J. D.
1447.
TOYOKUNI. I.—Working proof from the key-block of a colour-print. A
theatrical scene; with the actors Nakayama Tomisaburo and Ichikawa Komazo
in the parts of the Geisha Sankatsu and Hanshichi.  The artist has added a
wash of red colour to the print, with the following MS. note to the
printer, “Please gradate the colour like this.” From a print in the
Victoria and Albert Museum. J. 8494.



HISTORICAL NOTE


The process of colour-printing from wood-blocks, used in Japan from the
early part of the 18th century, has much in common with that of the
so-called _chiaroscuro_ wood-cuts first produced in Italy and Germany
during the 16th century, of which the work of Andrea Andreani (1540-1623)
supplies good examples. It is possible that the Japanese method was
derived from this source, either directly or by way of China. Japanese
tradition ascribes the invention to Takekawa Minosuke (Manji Period, A.D.
1658-1660); and a volume of Costume Designs in the Museum, dated 1667 (O4.
C. 20), is printed in colours, only one, however, being used on each
plate. The Chinese are known, with certainty, to have employed this
process before the end of the 17th century; but no Japanese colour-print
has yet been recorded, which can be placed, authentically, earlier than
the second quarter of the 18th century. Credit for the first production of
them is generally given to Torii Kiyonobu (1664-1729); but the greatest
development was due to Suzuki Harunobu (died A.D. 1770, aged 67 years).
Japanese authorities say that the improvements popularized by this artist
were invented by an engraver named Kinroku, in conjunction with a printer;
and that Harunobu, employing them to reproduce his pictures, about the
year 1765, thus laid the foundation of a school of artists who found their
chief occupation in designing for this class of work. Katsugawa Shunsho
(died A.D. 1792, aged 67 years) developed the process still further; and
it reached its highest technical level before the close of the 18th
century. Soon after the year 1800, a gradual decline is seen; which
manifested itself both in the increase of the number of blocks used, and
in the loss of quality in the colours. However, many prints of remarkably
high technical excellence were still produced up to about the year 1864;
soon after which time, all refinement both of engraving and printing seems
to have been lost. The last 20 years or so, have, however, witnessed a
sort of revival, by no means without merit in its way; and the adaptation
of the process to the requirements of book-illustration and the
reproduction of works of art, has reached a remarkably high standard in
such publications as the _Kokka_ and those of the _Shimbi ShoÌin._

It is not unimportant to add that this process, sometimes modified in
detail, has been revived in Europe; and is now practised by a considerable
number of artists. The Department of Engraving, Illustration, and Design
contains a representative collection of their productions, including a
consecutive set of working proofs (E. 20-26, 1904) of a print by Mr. J. D.
Batten and Mr. Morley Fletcher, who were the first to use the method in
England. The collection also includes a similar set of working proofs of
the modern development of the process, as used for the reproduction of
paintings by Old Masters by the _Shimbi ShoÌin_(E. 1862-2043, 1910).

                          ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐



THE DRAWING


Designs for Japanese colour-prints were made by artists, who, as a rule,
were adherents of the Popular _(Ukiyoye)_ School and, socially, of the
rank of artisans. The drawing was done with a brush on very thin _Mino_ or
_Gampi_ paper, the colours used being washes of water-colour worked with
rice-paste medium. To correct the design, the portions to be altered were
covered with pieces of paper, on which the revised drawing was made.  The
completed design (generally, to begin with, in black lines only, or with
only a little tint as a guide to the engraver) was then fastened face
downwards on the block with rice starch weakened with water. As much as
possible of its upper surface was rubbed away, some oil being used to make
the remainder more translucent, and thus to enable the engraver more
easily to follow the lines of the drawing.

It is evident that this process resulted in the destruction of the
designs. The Museum, however, has acquired a number of unused drawings,
which fully illustrate this stage; and the series of blocks exhibited (E.
4136-4322, 1909) have, in several instances, remains of the paper still
adhering to the uncut portions of their surfaces.

   1. ILLUSTRATION of a colour-print artist making a design; showing his
      position when drawing and method of holding the brush. A
      colour-print in the Japanese manner, by Emil Orlik, of Prague.  E.
      796-1903(1)
   2. ORIGINAL DRAWING (not engraved) for a colour-print, showing the
      Artist’s corrections. By Utagawa Kuniyoshi (A.D. 1797-1861).  J.D.
      1008.  _Subject_—The celebrated swordsmith Sanjo Kokagi Munechika
      forging a blade in the grounds of the Inari Temple, assisted by a
      Fox-Spirit in the form of a woman.
   3. ORIGINAL DRAWING (not engraved) for a 3-sheet colour-print, showing
      the Artist’s corrections. By Hiroshige I. (A.D. 1796-1858).  J.D.
      2440 _Subject_—Street scene in Akabane, Tokyo.
   4. BRUSHES used by (Japanese) painters of the Chinese School.  E.
      4203-4206-1911.  Founded by Josetsu (2nd half of the 14th century).
      The style is still practised.
   5. BRUSHES used by painters of the Tosa School. E. 4200-4202-1911.  The
      School (the National School of Japanese Painting) was first composed
      of a number of groups, more or less related, which coalesced under
      the name of Tosa in the time of Kasuga Tsunetaka (early 13th
      century), who seems to have been the first to use this appellation.
      The style is still practised.
   6. BRUSHES used by painters of the Sesshiu School. E. 4190, 4191-1911.
      Founded by Sesshiu (1420-1506), and based on the methods of the
      Chinese painters of the Sung Dynasty (960-1280). The style is still
      practised.
   7. BRUSHES used by painters of the Kano School. E. 27-29-1913.  Founded
      by Kano Masanobu (1453-1550). The style is still practised.
   8. BRUSHES used by painters of the Maruyama and Shijo Schools
      (Naturalistic). E. 4192-4199-1911.  Founded by Okyo Maruyama
      (1733-1795); and Matsumura Goshun (1752-1811). The style is still
      practised.
   9. BRUSHES common to painters of various Schools.  E. 4207-4212-1911.
  10. BRUSHES used by painters in lacquer.  E. 4213-4232-1911.
  11. BRUSHES used for writing.  E. 170-187-1911.

                          ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐



CUTTING THE BLOCK


The engraving was invariably done by a second person and not by the
designer.

The wood used was that of the wild cherry _(Yamazakura),_ the timber of
which was not allowed to be exposed to sunshine, but was carefully
seasoned in the shade. Fig. 1 illustrates the most economical way of
cutting up logs into blocks; the harder portions of the wood—those nearer
the centre—being used for the key-blocks (see p. 10), and the softer for
the colour-blocks. When possible, wood from the same tree was used for all
the blocks in each series. The outlines of the drawing were incised with a
knife-edged graver, and the superfluous wood then hollowed out with
chisels or gouges of various form, for all practical purposes, identical
with those used by European wood-carvers. The result is an intaglio block,
the printing-surfaces alone remaining in relief.

             [DIAGRAM:—Method of cutting a log into blocks. ]

              DIAGRAM:—Method of cutting a log into blocks.


The block first made from the drawing is called the key-block _(Daiban)_
and gives, in relief, the lines only, of the design. From it a number of
proofs are taken, one for each colour-printing to be made. On each of
these proofs the separate portion of the design covered by one colour is
painted; and is then pasted on a block and cut in the manner described
above. Every part of the surface of the block, however, which is not
required for the one colour in use, is cut away.

To produce a colour print, therefore, a key-block is required and also a
separate block for each colour in the design. For the sake of economy,
colour-blocks are sometimes cut on both sides; and, for small details, two
portions of the design may be cut on one side, but only one colour is
printed at each operation.

In the actual cutting of the block, the old Japanese engraver adhered to
an important principle—that of following the direction of the brush
strokes of the original drawing, in such a manner as to reproduce the
actual quality of the brush-mark. This is less apparent in the ordinary
colour-prints; but in reproductions, by the same process, of paintings and
drawings, the results obtained are extraordinarily faithful to the
originals.

Blocks were often framed, to prevent warping, in the manner illustrated in
fig. 2. This device was more generally employed in the case of those
especially made for book-illustration. A block that had warped could often
be straightened out again, by being well soaked in water and then placed
under a weight.

        [DIAGRAM:——Method of framing a block to prevent warping. ]

         DIAGRAM:——Method of framing a block to prevent warping.


  12. ILLUSTRATION of an engraver cutting a wood-block, showing his
      position and method of holding the knife or graver _(Kogatana)_ with
      which the outlines are first incised.  A colour-print, in the
      Japanese manner, by Emil Orlik, of Prague.  E. 797-1912
  13. ILLUSTRATION of the process of making colour-prints, showing various
      stages of cutting the blocks, sharpening the tools, damping the
      paper; and the tools and materials of the printer. A 3-sheet
      colour-print, by Utagawa Kunisada, _signed_ “Toyokuni” (A.D.
      1785-1864). The process is fancifully represented as being carried
      out by women.  J. 3203.   This print is imitated from one by
      Utamaro, a portion of which is illustrated herein _(Frontispiece)._
  14. CHISELS _(Nomi)_ used in cutting the block. The outlines are first
      cut with a graver _(Kogatana)_ somewhat similar to that used by
      European wood-engravers.  E. 4333-4343-1909.
  15. STONE _(Koshito)_ for sharpening tools. E. 4345-1909.
  16. STONE _(Awasedo)_ for polishing the surface of the Koshito.  E.
      4346-1909.
  17. MALLET _(Saizuchi)_ used with tools for cutting away the superfluous
      wood.  E. 4344-1909.
  18. DIAGRAM, showing the most economical way of cutting a log into
      blocks for printing (fig. 1).
  19. DIAGRAM, showing method of framing a block to prevent warping (fig.
      2).

                          ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐



PRINTING


The Printing of the old colour-prints was done by a third person, neither
the engraver nor the designer.

The finished block must first be thoroughly washed and dried. The colour
is then applied with a brush, to the upper surface of the block, which
rests on a low stand _(Suridai)_ to which are affixed four small cushions
of wet cotton _(Yawara)_ to prevent slipping (fig. 6). This stand should
have a downward slope of about 2 inches in 1 foot. The paper is wetted,
about 6 hours before being used for printing, and hung up to drain. For
the actual printing, it is laid on the upper surface of the block,
register _(Kento)_ being secured by means of an angular cut at one corner
(Plate III.) called the “key” _(kaji)_; and a line cut at another, called
the “draw-close line” _(hikitsuki)._  No other means of adjustment is
used, but the skill of the old printers was so great that faults of
register can very seldom be observed. The impression is then rubbed off
with the _Baren,_ used with a circular or zig-zag movement (fig. 5); and
this operation is repeated in succession with each block, beginning with
the key-block, until the prints are complete.

It is the modern, and was probably the old practice, to take the required
number of proofs from each block in succession; and not to complete each
print separately. The writer has observed that a modern Japanese printer
takes an impression in from 15 to 25 seconds, without special effort.

The colours used were as follows:—

      CARMINE _(Beni)._ Made from the Safflower, Carthamus tinctorius,
      from which rouge is also prepared. The kind called _Saiku-Beni_ is
      generally mixed with an acid derived from the Plum-fruit
      _(Mukiume)._
      BLUE _(Ao)_. Both _AiroÌ_(indigo) and _Hero_ (European blue) are now
      used. The old indigo was sometimes extracted from dyed rags.
      YELLOW _(Ki)._ Generally _Zumi,_ a yellow dye, and _Kiwo,_ orpiment,
      are used, and _ShiwoÌ,_ gamboge, for the best prints.
      PURPLE _(Murasaki)._ Formerly this colour was made by mixing
      _Aigami_ (blue) and _Beni_ (red), but now an imported purple is
      used.
      GREEN _(Midori)._ A mixture of either _Hero_ and _Kiwo,_ or _Zumi_
      and _AiroÌ._
      ORANGE YELLOW   _(ToÌ-oÌ)._ Produced by mixing _Zumi_ and _Bengara_
      (iron red) or _Zumi_ and _Yenji_ (rouge).
      BLACK _(Sumi)_. _Yeizen Zumi_(lamp-black) is used with the
      key-block. It should be steeped in water for five or six months,
      then thoroughly well mixed in a wooden dish with a wooden mixer.
      _Tsuya-Zumi_ is the brilliant black used for such details as human
      hair, black lacquer objects, &c. It is obtained by the use of a
      _Dosa_ medium (mixture of glue and alum); and printed from a
      separate block.
      SILVER COLOR _(Gin-ro)._ Lead powder mixed with glue.
      GOLD COLOR _(Kin-iro)._ Brass powder mixed with glue.
      COPPER COLOR _(Akegane-iro)._ Pure copper powder mixed with glue.
      WHITE _(Shiro)._ Powered white clay _(JoÌfun)_ mixed with glue.
      Clamshell powder _(Namaguriko)_ is sometimes employed.
_      Bengara_ (IRON RED), _Tan_ (RED LEAD) and MICA are also used.

NOTE.—The above colours are those given in the _Bungei Riusan_ (see p.
22).

Great importance was attached to the grinding and mixing of the colours.
The glue-water medium used for mixing with black was made in the
proportion of about one-third of an ounce of glue to three-fourths of a
pint of water; but these proportions varied with various qualities of the
pigment or paper. In the case of other colours, glue was not always used,
but rice-paste (made with rice-flour and boiling water); the actual being
sometimes done in the process of applying the colour to the block. A
little alum was dissolved in the cold water with which the rice-paste was
mixed. A specially brilliant effect was produced by laying a light wash of
rice-paste over the block before spreading the colours.

RELIEF PRINTING.—For this purpose, a special block is made for that part
in the print where the relief is required. The print is laid _back
downwards_ on the block, in the opposite manner to that used when printing
colour, and the impression is rubbed in with a tool of ivory—the canine
teeth of the wild boar being the material most favoured.

            [DIAGRAM:—The _Baren._—Its internal construction ]

             DIAGRAM:—The _Baren._—Its internal construction


           [DIAGRAM:—The _Baren._—Position of pad in sheath. ]

             DIAGRAM:—The _Baren._—Position of pad in sheath.


                 [DIAGRAM:—The _Baren._—Method of use. ]

                   DIAGRAM:—The _Baren._—Method of use.


                       [DIAGRAM:—Printer’s Desk. ]

                         DIAGRAM:—Printer’s Desk.


  20. WORKING PROOF from the key-block, with colour added by the artist;
      and the following note in his writing, “Please gradate the colour
      like this.” The register marks are seen at the sides.  By Utagawa
      Toyokuni I. A.D. 1769-1825. _Subject_—Theatrical scene. The actors
      Nakayama Tomisaburo and Ichikawa Komazo in the parts of the Geisha
      Sankatsu and Hanshichi. _Plate_ III. J. 8494.
  21. PRINTING COLOURS. Specimens of colours as mixed by printers for use,
      in glazed earthenware bowls, with small brushes. E. 3892-3895-1910.
  22. BRUSHES made of horse-hair. The smaller brushes are used for
      applying the colour to the blocks. E. 4324-4332-1909.
  23. RUBBERS _(Baren)_ with which the print is taken.  E. 4347-4348-1909.
      These are made with bamboo sheath fibre, twisted into cord and
      coiled edgeways round a card centre; then fixed into position with
      paper string of two or three strands and paste.  This is then
      enclosed within a large soft bamboo sheath, the ends of which are
      twisted and turned upwards to make the handle.  The sheath must be
      very fine and be softened with a little oil before use.
  24. DIAGRAM, showing internal construction of the pad of the _Baren_
      (fig. 3).
  25. DIAGRAM, showing position of the pad within the sheath of the
      _Baren,_ before the ends of the latter are turned over, and twisted
      to make the handle (fig. 4).
  26. DIAGRAM, showing how the _Baren_ is held in the hand, and the line
      it follows when used (fig. 5).
  27. DIAGRAM, showing printer’s desk, with block in position, resting on
      pads of damp cotton (fig. 6).
  28. WOOD BLOCKS (7) used in the production of a colour-print by Utamaro
      II. (worked c. 1800-1840 A.D.), with a set of progressive proofs
      made by a modern Japanese printer.  E. 4316-4322-1909.

            The KEY-BLOCK, for printing the black outlines only.
            First printing from KEY-BLOCK.
            Second printing, with GREY added to proof from key-block. The
            block is also cut for the twelfth printing, GREEN.
            Fifth printing, PALE BLUE. The block is also cut for the
            fourth printing, BROWN.
            Sixth printing, BLUE PATTERN. The block is also cut for a
            printing not used.
            Seventh printing, BLUE. Eighth printing, YELLOW
            Ninth printing, GREY. Tenth printing, BROWN (second time
            used).
            Eleventh printing, BROWN PATTERN.  The block is also cut for
            the third printing, PALE PINK.
            Thirteenth printing, CRIMSON. Fourteenth printing, CRIMSON
            PATTERN.  Fifteenth printing, PURPLE.
            Sixteenth printing, BURNISHED BLACK, giving the completed
            print.

NOTE.—The above are exhibited, in a separate case, in the Museum. In the
Students’ Room is a set of proofs showing separate printings from each
block. The key-block of the above series is original; the colour-blocks
were made in the and half of the 19th century.

The Museum also possesses the following original Woodblocks.

      BAIREI, Kono (d. 1895).  Wood-blocks (4) used for a leaf of “The
      Hundred Birds.” 1881. Cut both sides. (9¼×14¼).  583-1886.
      Exhibited with an original drawing and a proof from one of the
      blocks. The Museum contains the whole of the original drawings,
      which were specially preserved, and a copy of the publication.
      BUNKEN (19th century). Key-block for a colour-print. Eagle flying
      over the sea. (9½×10 3/8)  E. 4934-1903 The back is engraved to
      print one of the colours, c. 1880.
      GAKUTEI, Harunobu _(worked_ C. 1800-1830).

            Key-block for a _Surimono._ A carp swimming upwards. (8½× 8
            3/8)  262-1903.
            Key-block for a _Surimono._ Geisha and peacock. (8¼×10).
            4946-1903.

      HARUNOBU(1724-1770). Key-blocks for a set of five book-illustrations
      by Harunobu, c. 1770. _Av. size_ (8¼×10¾). E, 2168-2172-1909.
      Presented by J. S. Happer, Esq.
      HIROSHIGE (1796-1858). Key-block for an early set of lateral prints
      by Hiroshige, entitled “Toto Meisho Saka Tsukushi-no Uchi-Yedo.”
      Series of steep roads in Yedo. Sub-title on face of print:
      “Aoizaka-no Dzu.” The reverse was used many years later for a set of
      views by Hiroshige and Toyokuni (Kunisada). (10¾×15 ½).  E.
      2166-1909. Presented by J. S. Happer, Esq.
      Key-block for a half-plate set of “Toto Meisho” (views of Yedo) by
      Hiroshige. On the reverse is one of the colour-blocks for each half.
      (15×10¼). E. 2167-1909. Presented by J. S. Happer, Esq.
      HOKKEI, Todoya ShunyoÌsai (c. 1780-1850). Key-block for a
      _Surimono._ A woman with writing materials. (8 3/8 ×8½).  261-1903.
      KAGESHIGE(19th century). Key-block for a _Surimono._ Fan and
      incense-burner, each on a stand. (9×10¼).  E. 4945-1903. The back is
      engraved to print two of the colours.
      KIKUSAI(19th century). Block for book-illustration. The three
      long-lived men—ToÌboÌsaku (9,000 years), Urashima TaroÌ (8,000
      years), and Miura-no-Osuke (106 years). (7×10½).   E. 4941-1903. On
      the back are several incomplete engravings.
      ODAKE (19th century). Wood-blocks (8) for illustrations to
      “Mitford’s Tales of Old Japan” (1871) with a set of proofs. Various
      sizes. E. 1401-1888.
      SADANOBU _(worked_ c. 1820-1840). Key-block for a colour-print.
      Daikoku and Okame wrestling before the rest of the Seven Gods of
      Good Fortune. (6½×9 3/8). E. 4942-1903. The back is engraved to
      print gold.
      SEIKA (19th century). Key-block for a colour-print. Landscape with
      Mount Fuji and Storks. (6 3/8 ×8½). E. 4936-1903.
      SUNKICHIROÌ, Shunka (19th century). Key-blocks (8) for
      book-illustration. “ZoÌshoÌ Mono-gatari.” History of Soldiers. By
      HakoÌ ShoÌbei. Published by Fusi Kiken at Kyoto, Osaka and Yedo,
      A.D. 1846, 3rd month. Cut both sides. (8×13). 381, 382, 387, 388,
      393-396-1895.
      SUGISAKI, S. _(Living Artist.)_ Engraved wood-block, showing a
      decorative design of bamboo plants: designed, engraved and printed
      by S. Sugisaki. (51×18 5/8). E. 3790-1910. A print from the above.
      E. 3790a-1910. Presented by the Artist.
      SUIKO (19th century).

            Key-block (part missing) for a colour-print of a fan-design.
            “Shiki Bijin Sugatazoroye.” Beauties representative of the
            Four Seasons. Spring. A woman of the Yoshiwara with her
            attendant (Kamuro). One of a set of four. (9×8¼). E.
            4940-1903. The back is engraved to print gold and a colour.
            Key-block (part missing) for a colour-print of a fan-design.
            Shiki Bijin Sugatazoroye. Summer. A geisha enjoying the
            evening breeze. (8¾×8). E. 4938-1903 The back is engraved to
            print one of the colours.

      UTAMARO II. _(worked_ c. 1800-1840). Wood-blocks (7) used in the
      production of a colour-print. (15×10½).  E. 4316-4322-1909.
      UNSIGNED (19th century).

            Key-block for a colour-print. Farmer turning an irrigation
            water-wheel, in rice fields. (8¾×9¾). E. 4935-1903 The back is
            engraved to print one of the colours.
            Key-block (on each side) for two colour-prints. Chrysanthemums
            and butterfly; on the back, peonies in a flower-vase (9¾×10¾).
            E. 4933-1903.

NOTE.—_Proofs were taken (in  1910), by a Japanese printer, from each of
the above, except in cases where such were already in the Collection. They
can be seen on application in the Students’ Room of the Department._

                          ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐



PAPER


Japanese paper, of the kinds used for artistic purposes, is made from the
inner bark of various plants, chiefly the _Broussonetia Papyrifera,
Edgeworthia Papyrifera_ and _Wickstrœmia Canescens._ The young shoots of
the plant are cut in the withy stage; the fibre freed from the wood, and
the skin and green parts of the bark, and edges of knot-holes and other
defective parts are cut out. The selected residuum is then laid in running
water for several days, and boiled in an iron kettle with lye, till it is
quite soft and pulpy. The pulp is next washed with fresh water until the
water runs off without discolouration. The process of dealing with this
pulp does not greatly differ in principle from the European method; except
that the scoop-net is not of wire, but of fine parallel bamboo splints or
silk net toughened with Shibu (a preparation containing a large proportion
of tannic acid). There is no watermark in Japanese paper; but patterns are
sometimes produced by arrangements of bamboo splints woven, in net
fashion, with silk or hemp thread _(Mon-shi—_patterned paper). The
Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design possesses a collection of
specimens of various Japanese papers.

The fine quality of the colours in old Japanese colour-prints is due, to a
considerable extent, to the nature of the paper and especially to its
tough but highly absorbent character.

                          ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐



BOOKS OF REFERENCE


The following works contain descriptions of the various technical
processes mentioned above.

      REIN, J. J. The Industries of Japan. (Paper, p. 389.) (10×7.)
      London, 1889.
      WASHINGTON: _U.S.A. National Museum._ Report of the Smithsonian
      Institution for the year ending 30 June, 1892. Japanese Wood-cutting
      and Wood cut Printing, by T. Tokuno. Edited and annotated by S. R.
      Koehler (p. 222). _Illustrated._ (9×9.) Washington, 1893.
      WOOD-CUT Printing in Water-colours, after the Japanese manner.
      _Illustrated._ (In _The Studio,_ vol. 3, pp. no, 144. 1894.)
      LONDON: _Victoria and Albert Museum Handbooks._ Japanese
      Colour-prints, by Edward F. Strange. (Technique, chapter xi.) 3rd
      edition. (8×6.) London, 1910.
      SAKAKIBARA, Yoshino. Bungei Riusan. Essays on Japanese literature,
      with additional chapters describing the manufacture of paper and the
      processes of printing and engraving. (The Museum copy has MS.
      translations of the portion relating to engraving.) _Cuts._ 8 vols.
      (10×7.) _ToÌkyoÌ,_1878.

NOTE.—_The Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design includes a
large collection of Japanese Colour-prints and Drawings, which can be seen
on application in the Students’ Room (Room 71) at any time (except on
Sundays) when the Museum is open to the public._

                          ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

[ORIGINAL DRAWING FOR THE SERIES OF PRINTS CALLED “THE 100 POEMS EXPLAINED
                             BY THE NURSE” ]

HOKUSAI.—Original drawing for the key-block of an unpublished colour-print
 in the series called “The Hundred Poets explained by the Nurse.” A junk,
 with straw sail, conveying three travellers; at the bow a breaking wave.
    At the top right-hand corner is a poem by Hoshoji no Nyudo Saki no
   Kwampaku Daijo Daijin.  O’er the wide sea plain, / As I row and look
   around, It appears to me / That the white waves, far away, / Are the
ever-shining sky. From a drawing in the Victoria and Albert Museum. J. D.
                                  1447.


      [WORKING PROOF OF A COLOUR-PRINT SHOWING REGISTRATION MARKS.]

    TOYOKUNI. I.—Working proof from the key-block of a colour-print. A
theatrical scene; with the actors Nakayama Tomisaburo and Ichikawa Komazo
in the parts of the Geisha Sankatsu and Hanshichi.  The artist has added a
   wash of red colour to the print, with the following MS. note to the
   printer, “Please gradate the colour like this.” From a print in the
                   Victoria and Albert Museum. J. 8494.





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