Akashi-ban Surimono


Akashi-ban Surimono
Print group



Print is Public Domain; Photography is:   Creative Commons License


Akashi-ban surimono are late Meiji period (usually 1890s) reproductions of 1810-1830s surimono. They were printed for Western tourists, who thought the prints they were buying were the original, earlier, prints, but of course now we know better. Dave made some notes about Akashi-ban in the description of one of his published prints some years ago, and at the time included these comments:

"In the early 1890s an enterprising publisher in Akashi, near Kobe, issued many dozens of prints based on Edo period surimono (privately published prints). Scholars believe that these prints were targeted at the foreign market, as relatively few of them are found in Japan these days, while they commonly turn up in Europe (Kobe was one of the areas first opened up to foreign settlement). They are wonderfully made, with superbly carved calligraphy and well-executed printing. They differ from the originals on which they were based chiefly in the paper; most surimono originals are printed on paper with very weak sizing, if any."

This particular group of Akashi-ban surimono is made up of prints by famous designers such as Totoya Hokkei (1870-1850) and Kubo Shunman (1757-1820) and features a range of interesting printing and carving techniques. We hope you enjoy browsing through these luxuriously produced examples from the Meiji period...

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