Kobayashi, Eijirō [Ikuhide].
Bakurochō, [Tōkyō] : Higuchi Gintarō, Meiji 14 .
A woodblock-printed omocha-e (toy print) featuring a mixture of silhouettes of people, monsters, and spirits. There are 47 silhouettes in total, including those of two rokurokubi (monsters with long necks), a kasa-obake (umbrella spirit), a monster whose oiran (courtesan) hair ornament forms the shape of a skull and crossbones, a dancing monster with a human body and the head of a lamp, a tōfu kozō (spirit appearing in the form of a boy holding a tray of tofu), and a nekomata (monster cat with two tails). These types of prints, called utsushi-e (projection pictures), were based on a type of Japanese visual entertainment using magic lanterns or wooden slide projectors later to be replaced by cinema. The artist of this print, Kobayashi Eijirō, is better-known as Kobayashi Ikuhide. He was a student of Utagawa Yoshiiku and produced a voluminous amount of toy prints, war prints, meisho prints of famous views, and so on, in the Meiji period.
A creative print visualising what a wary human eye may see by the light of a lantern on a dark and stormy night. One leaf, complete.
A few creases and minor stains to leaf. Significant wormholing to lower right corner, partially repaired. Very minor soiling, light ink mark to left extremity. Overall good only. 36.2 x 24.2 cm. Text in Japanese.