Deluxe production of color woodblock prints, the final volume in a series on the theme of traditional Japanese folk toys.
The word for "toy" used here, which the National Diet catalogue reads as 'gangu' rather than 'omocha,' is an early 20th-century term coined as a "reaction to the influx of Western playthings, when it became evident that the latter had already driven traditional Japanese toys from the child's world, at least in urban society" (Kyburz). Enthusiasts of traditional Japanese folkcraft eyed the popularity of Western toys carefully, leading to a devotee following of gangu – and making this elaborate publication, the last one in series published 1934-1936, a reactionary text of the Japanese Folk Craft Movement. Full-page woodblock prints are lavishly reproduced here with elements heightened in gilt and silver, producing the simultaneously flat ("floating") and rich, layered look for which Japanese woodblock prints are justly famous. Via OCLC we locate no institutional holdings outside Japan.
Read more: Kyburz, "Omocha': Things to Play (Or Not to Play) with," in Asian Folklore Studies, Vol. 53 No. 1, 3.
Kyoto: Unsōdō, Shōwa 11 . 10.75'' x 15.5''. Original paper boards bound orihon (accordion) style, front board covered in deluxe rice paper and color printed patterned paper, printed paper spine label. Pictorial front pastedown, colophon on rear pastedown. Illustrated with 12 full-page woodblock prints in multiple colors, heightened with gilt and silver elements; facing full-page illustrations in grey and white. Text in Japanese.  pages. Faint dampstain to lower corner, just visible on plates but not affecting images; boards with moderate wear, including a portion of the paper on the rear board worn away to reveal the pasteboard below. Plates themselves largely quite clean and bright.
Very good minus.
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