Sumo Wrestlers (相撲)

Designer: Cho Gessho | Carver: David Bull | Printer: Rei

Paper size: 15cm by 11cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [HC] ? ( Change currency: $ / £ / )

Price: $ 40.00£ 32.25€ 36.75

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Description: We here at Mokuhankan are always interested in bringing to the surface works by designers of whom most people are probably not familiar with, and this is yet another example.

What we have here is a leaf from a woodblock picture book published in 1817 in Nagoya. Entitled Fugyo Gaso (or alternatively Fukei Gaso), and designed by Cho Gessho, it has been described by expert Jack Hillier as “a ... picture-book which can be recommended to every student of Japanese design.” Mr. Hillier was most impressed by Gessho’s ability to position his image content within the frame, and in his description of this book, used the word ‘balance’ over and over again in his praise of the artist.

It is worth emphasizing that images of this type are not ukiyo-e. Their disjointed drawing and roughly applied colouring is in strong contrast to the tight control that ukiyo-e of that period was capable of. This is a bit of a problem for our carvers and printers, as our years of ukiyo-e training make us want to ‘fix’ these ‘defects’ as we go along, and we had to constantly remind ourselves “It’s OK to leave brush strokes on the bamboo!”

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