お年玉袋 (New Year Coin)

Designer: Dave Bull | Carver: David Bull | Printer: David Bull

Size: 11cm by 15cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [HC] ? | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: $ 40.00£ 32.25€ 36.75 [Reprinting]

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Description: Japanese viewers need no explanation for this design, but as many of our collectors are non-Japanese, I suspect that many of them may not know what this represents. The object lying on the tatami mat is an o-toshi-dama bukuro, an envelope holding the coin traditionally given to small children as a new year present.

When people are out visiting during the New Year season, they prepare these in advance if they know there will be children present. I think that back in the old days these presents were quite eagerly awaited by young children, but I suppose that the ‘thrill’ is not so strong these days.

When I was carving this print I had to make a decision; what should I do about the contents of the envelope? I could perhaps have ignored that; after all, this is a woodblock print, and we of course can’t see ‘inside’ an object depicted in an image.

Or can we? Make sure your hands are clean, flip it over, and take a look!

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