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in Japanese] Kojitsu Sosho. Kanbo Enkai [A Library of Ancient Customs - Crowns and Hats].
- Tokyo, Yoshikawa 1899. folio (370x260mm) printed boards (marked & smudged); accordian folding giving eight double page openings; the first text, the rest coloured woodcuts ranging from two to seven illustrations per opening. One fold separating. A particularly lovely book - illustrations of ceremonial crowns and hats of varying elaboration by the artist Kimura Tokaturo. Some of the caps which first appear to be simple monochrome shapes have actually been overprinted with delicate subtlety capturing their texture. The Kojitsu Sosho - Library of Ancient Customs - was an extraordinarily ambitious project - god and Japanese bibliographers know how many volumes it ran to during the later Meiji period. Produced in all sorts of sizes and shapes, each captured and preserved, in traditional form some part of classical, often aristocratic, culture. The timing of this is no accident. Reaction to the paired threats to Japanese tradition - from the inroads made by western modernity and the bulk souveniring of art treasures by those westerners - resulted in an industrious revival of historic, nostalgic, nationalism. Again with twin motives: some art was reproduced for the western punters and some for home consumption. I'm not sure where the Shojitsu Sosho fits best but of the albums I've seen, this is maybe my favourite. Some of the smaller or duller volumes are relatively common but I don't think this one is. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Richard Neylon]
Last Found On: 2015-07-07           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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