Artist: Kajita Hanko
Title: Water Dragon Chronicle
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Kuchi-e were woodblock prints used as foldout frontispieces for novels or inserts into magazines from around 1895 to 1915. They were meant as a visual aid and as a sales promotion at the same time. In competition with Western lithographic or photo-mechanical printing techniques modern to the times, kuchi-e were usually well executed, sometimes in deluxe printing with such lavish techniques as mica or embossing. The main subjects were bijin-ga or beautiful women, often in a Western style presaging the Taisho modern women. For more on kuchi-e, please refer to: "Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints" by Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada.