At Play (猫と遊ぶ)

Designer: Kajita Hanko | Carver: Noriko Kawasaki | Printer: Ayumi Ohashi

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

Price: $ 40.00£ 29.25€ 34.25

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Description: This is not the first print in our catalogue designed by the Meiji-era illustrator Kajita Hanko, and it certainly won’t be the last! He is the perfect exemplar of the group of designers working in Japan in the late Meiji-era. There was a vast amount of material being published at that time - prints, books and magazines of many genres - and studios like Hanko’s, where dozens of apprentices and pupils worked together with him, worked to fill the huge demand for illustrative material.

The image here is not from a magazine, but from a set of designs published to serve as teaching material in schools. Through copying the images, students learned how to draw bamboo leaves, trees, flowers, etc., and of course human figures in many poses, as we see here.

The design probably took Hanko no more than a few seconds to create. But in those few seconds, with the sweep of his brush across the paper, he preserved for ever a snapshot of a time, a place, and a mood.

And with the assistance of the Mokuhankan carvers and printers, it’s not just the old school students who have a chance to enjoy it!

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