In the 1880s, an economic boom in Japan encouraged a renaissance of traditional color woodblock painting. During this prosperous period, a well-born painter named Numata Kashû created A Picture Book of Birds. Kashû's three-volume series blended the contemporary interest in woodblock prints with East Asia's centuries-old fascination with artistic depictions of birds and flowers. His colorful books received a lavish production from a Tokyo printer that went out of business soon afterward, rendering the volumes instant rarities. Kashû's woodblock prints were so popular that dealers carved up available books in order to sell the images individually, making complete versions even harder to find.
A collector's delight, this exquisite edition reprints a rare 1930s facsimile of Kashû's works. Its vivid gallery of high-quality illustrations features 150 images of birds that are realistic as well as charmingly traditional. Most include the species' names in kanji as well as in English translations. Lovers of fine art — and of Japanese art in particular — will treasure this handsome volume, as will naturalists and rare book enthusiasts.
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