Title: Sakurai-ya Hideji with Attendant Toku
Date: c. 1816
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Prints depicting the Gion Costume Parade are called nerimono-e, literally pictures of “Walking Slowly in a Procession.” Brothels, geisha houses, and wealthy patrons likely paid for the production of such prints. The technique of kappa-zuri (stencil prints) is unique to Kyoto. While the woodblock techniques of Edo were developing, the Kamigata region (especially Kyoto) did not initially attempt to use advanced woodblock printing technology. One of the reasons may be that people in Kyoto did not view woodblock prints as equivalent to actual paintings, or see any artistic or aesthetic value in them. Thus, the development of printing technology did not receive much attention in Kyoto, and was not used widely for artistic purposes. Nerimono-e are extremely rare, and these two prints have only recently been identified as such by a visiting Kamigata-e specialist from Japan. (from Kamigata-e exhibition 4/1/08-)