18. Item #84341
[EHON] Mikuma Katen, artist. KINSEI KIJIN-DEN, 5 vols. Kyoto, Edo & Osaka. n.d. [1860's?]. String-bound Japanese-style fukuro toji, in textured blue-grey covers with printed paper title labels. 40 single page and 2 double page b+w woodcuts, largely depicting the subject matter of the title: TALES OF ECCENTRICS FROM RECENT YEARS. Originally printed in 1790, this is a deservedly famous and oft-reprinted work in Japan. The KIJIN_DEN catalogues the eccentricities and eccentrics of the late 18th Century - a time of florescence of the "bunjin" literati ideal in Japan. The bunjin created an esthetically pure environment in the midst of the bustle (and corruption) of everyday life. The initial exemplars were those scholars and artists who withdrew from public life in China after the fall of the Ming Dynasty to the alien Manchus in the mid-17th Century. The KIJIN-DEN represents one of the efforts by the Japanese to domesticate a Chinese cultural import and find native representatives of the literati ideal. The KIJIN-DEN is interesting for its exploration of the art world in Japan- for example, there is a domestic scene of the painters Ikeno Taiga and wife Gyokuran, among others. Indeed, there are many women depicted in the KIJIN-DEN. (See JAPANESE WOMEN ARTISTS 1600-1900) Also see Ryerson 416, Mitchell 364, Hillier/Ravicz 22. The condition is very good over all, the printings are late (this edition being some 60-70 years after the original printing by Hayashi Bunkindo). There was a second series done some few years later, but this first series is complete as issued in 5 volumes.