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Combing the Hair (Kamisuki)

Combing the Hair (Kamisuki) 髪梳き
by Torii Kotondo (1900-1976)

The artworks displayed on JAODB are not for sale.

Artist: Torii Kotondo (1900-1976) 鳥居言人
Title: Combing the Hair (Kamisuki) 髪梳き
Date 1st edition?1932
Date of this artwork?1980s (may not be accurate)
Publisher 1st edition?Ikeda 池田
Publisher (this edition)?Ishukankokai 遺珠刊行会
Medium (1st edition): Woodblock
Medium (this edition): Woodblock
Format (1st edition): Large Oban
Format (this edition): Oban
DB artwork code: 34961
Notes (1st edition)?Artist: TORII, Kotondo

Description:  Combing her hair,
ed.100, numbered,

Scene number 7.

Dated 1932 (confirmed. Month not yet confirmed).

Limited edition of only 100 prints, after which the blocks were destroyed.

I have seen both "A Nap" and "Hair Combing" marked as scene number 7. One of them must be scene 8 in reality.
Ikeda published a total of 12 scenes.

Signed: Kotondo

Dimension: 41.0 × 25.5 cm

Re-issued in the series "Twelve Aspects of Women" circa August 23, 1988.
Notes (this edition)?The following information was taken from the original web listing of this artwork. Often written by non-experts, there may be inaccuracies:


Combing the Hair “Kamisuki”, 1933

The Ishukankokai Edition of Kotondo Beauties-With the permission of Kotondo’s heirs, a small commemorative run of his prints were produced by the Ishukankokai publishers in the early 1980’s. This commemorative edition was limited to 100 pieces- a very small run. The Ishukankokai prints are also very rare today. But, they offer an opportunity to collect a Kotondo woodblock at a cost in line with most collectors’ budgets. These commemorative prints were produced to the same exacting standard of the Kotondo first edition prints. Expert carvers were contracted to produce the highest quality wood blocks and printers meticulously printed Kotondo’s designs with the same attention to quality and detail. These reprints are on beautiful, hand made paper. The prints offered tonight in our auctions are from one of the Ishukankokai editions.

This Print; Combing the Hair “Kamisuki”- A beautiful Kotonodo print and masterwork from his bijin designs. This lovely image of a woman, in a private moment, combing her hair is a classic print from the shin-hanga tradition. Beautiful color and fine detail. The gold ring on her left hand treated with a shimmering mica power as was the first edition print, great detail. A shin-hanga masterwork and a Japanese woodblock print treasure that would be a fine addition to any collection.

With original presentation folder- Each print is being sold with its original presentation folder. The prints are stored in a beautiful inner folder with paper surround and protective liner and a heavy outer folder with subject and series titles in Japanese. See example photo below for the type of folders you will get with your print.

Signed- Kotondo, with artist’s seal
Publisher, printer and carver seals- Red “moneybag” seal of the publisher Ishukankokai, name seal of carver and printer, watermark of publisher (all in margin as shown)
Image size- 10 1/4" x 16 1/2" (+ full margins)
Sheet size- 13" x 19" (Large woodblock print size)
Condition- Absolutely perfect condition with no flaws to note. Excellent color, no fading, fine linework. This print has been stored only, never framed.

Artist Bio: Torii Kotondo (or Torii Kiyotada VIII) is renowned for his paintings and shin hanga prints of beautiful women. His woodblock prints, superbly carved and printed, are comparable with those of Hashiguchi Goyo and Ito Shinsui. Kotondo was born with the name Saito Akira in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo. He was the only son among the five children of Torii Kiyotada, the seventh Torii master. The Torii school had a long tradition of painting and printmaking for the Japanese theater, extending back to the seventeenth century. Kabuki theater was still very popular in the early twentieth century and prints and painted posters were the primary means of publicity. Although Kotondo was mainly interested in studying history and archaeology, it was assumed that he would follow in his father's footsteps and join the Torii school. At age 14, Kotondo agreed to leave school and begin studies with Kobori Tomone, a yamato-e painter. Along with painting classes, Tomone taught Kotondo about the court and military practices of ancient Japan, satisfying his interest in history. A year later, he was officially adopted as the next heir of the Torii school and assumed the artist's name 'Kotondo'. While still studying with Tomone, he began designing illustrations for a theatrical magazine, Engei Gaho ('Entertainment Illustrated Magazine'), and painted kabuki posters and billboards.

Torii Kotondo was the 8th Torii and the 5th Torii Kiyotada. His father was the 4th Kiyotada.

The artworks displayed on JAODB are not for sale.

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Site copyright: Dr Ross F. Walker. Copyright of the displayed artwork: the original owner. The information contained on this website is provided as an educational resource to scholars and collectors of Japanese art. JAODB would like to thank the caretakers of these art items for their contribution to this database. The items displayed here are not being offered for sale. Unless otherwise indicated the displayed item is not in the ownership of JAODB or Ross Walker.