Tokuriki: Watercolor Painting and Three Printer's Proof Prints of Obon Festival

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Artist: Tomikichiro Tokuriki (1902-2000)
Title: Original Watercolor Painting and Three Printer's Proofs of Obon Festival
Series: Scenes of Sacred Places and Historic Landmarks.
Date: ca. 1941

We see the bonfires of the Obon festival of Daimonji, one of the iconic festivals of Kyoto, here shown from the unusual perspective of the bowing statue at Sanjo Bridge. This must be the kneeling figure of Takayama Hikokuro (1747-93), where he is shown bowing towards the remains of the imperial palace. It is the culmination of the Obon festival on August 16th, in which five giant bonfires are lit on mountains surrounding the city, here in the shape of “Dai” or “Great”. The date of the festival is printed on the print, at left “Eighth Month, 16th Day”. From the publisher Uchida we have the original watercolor painting and three corrected proof prints. One proof was probably intended to be final, as it was printed on the paper with the mica-printed designs of the background paper.  In this process set it is interesting to see how closely the carvers were able to duplicate the painting using woodblocks. It is also interesting to see the subtle changes that the artist wanted in the proof of the woodblock. I was unable to find another example of this print online, so perhaps it never made it into production. Tokuriki was a Kyoto-based artist, and we see how his works suggest painting rather than woodblock prints. He studied at the Kyoto City Specialist School of Painting.

Provenance: Uchida Art Company Ltd.

Condition: Overall excellent impressions, color and condition. Some minor wrinkles. Proofs have pencil corrections.
Dimensions: 28 x 48 cm (approx)  Publisher: Uchida Bijutsu Shoten
Seal: Hanmoto Uchida
Signature: Tomikichiro