Zuanchō ["Album of designs"]
[Takada, Kakushū (illustrated by)?].
Kyōto: Misona, [ca. late Meiji to early Taishō period (1900-10s)?]. In manuscript.
A concertina-folding album of 97 hand-painted designs tipped-in to card leaves. The work is identified as the "ninth collection" on the outer title panel, indicating that the company that produced the designs made several similar catalogues. The stamps on the card leaves identify this company as Misona, a Kyoto-based textile firm. Founded in Meiji 37 (1904), Misona was a registered member of the Kyoto zuankai and focused on the production of woven cotton fabrics, satin, habutae silk, and brocade gauze to export to China, British India, and the US. The company also sold items like women’s obis domestically. While the designs are not signed, it is possible that some or all were created by Takada Kenzaburō (also known as Takada Kakushū), identified as a designer working for Misona in issue two of Kyōto zuan. Takada was a pupil of the painter Kōno Bairei (1844-1895) and contributed many illustrations to magazines, some of which were published by Unsōdō. He is known to have rubbed shoulders with the likes of Furuya Kōrin (1875–1910), Shimomura Gyokukō (Tamahiro, 1878-1926), Ueno Seikō (1871-1943), and other important zuanka of the period. The designs, most of which are in colour and some of which use metallic pigments, feature birds, butterflies, and insects as well as patterns that emulate folk textiles. Several of the illustrations arguably rival the large woodblock-printed designs produced by artists like Kamisaka Sekka (1866–1942), who almost certainly also met Takada. An unearthed masterpiece of zuan design.
One concertina-folding orijō volume in original boards, both sides illustrated. Boards soiled and slightly scraped. Loss to mounted daisen title panel. Occasional scrapes, soiling, foxing, waving, and discolouration internally. Gutters weak in places. Artist's notes and marks to designs and margins. Unpaginated. 26.5 x 38 x 7.5 cm.