Mizuno Toshikata, 1866-1908
Preparatory Drawing of 'Looking at Chrysanthemums' (Kikumi) kuchi-e
sumi ink on transluscent paper, with notations regarding the color on her obi, kodai murasaki (ancient purple), and on the diamond pattern of her sleeve ima murasaki (present purple), with shading inside one of the diamonds with note shiro roku (white six), unsigned, ca. 1902
kuchi-e 9 5/8 by 13 1/8 in., 24.3 by 33.3 cm
This preparatory drawing relates to a kuchi-e (frontispiece) print for a novel in Bungei Kurabu (Literary Club) magazine, vol. 8, no. 12 published in 1902. The notations regardng the colors would have helped the carver prepare the correct number of blocks, as well as the printer when he was coloring the blocks. The instruction to use shiro roku (white six) was likely mutually understood amongst the artisans to refer to any number of white pigments such as lead white, titanium white, zinc white, traditional Japanese gofun (ground calcified oyster shells), or European Chinese White (which is similar to gofun but prepared in a different way).
Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada, Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture, 2000, plate 6.17, and cover
Nanako Yamada, Mokuhan Kuchi-e (Survey of Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints), 2006, p. 247
(inv. no. C-1800)
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.
site last updated
October 28, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
Join our mailing list...