|KEY WORD : art history / paintings|
| A type of illustrated popular fiction *kusazoushi
草双紙. Lit. yellow covers. Popular fiction for adults which first appeared in the
1770s and remained popular until the first decades of the 19c. Each booklet was
made up of five double pages and several booklets were bound as a single volume
with a bright yellow cover. Episodes drawn from contemporary social life, particularly
the pleasure quarters, were described with wit, often satirically. Illustrations
were included on every page and were crucial to the understanding of the text.
Popular writers such as Koikawa Harumachi 恋川春町 (1744-89) and Santou Kyouden 山東京伝
(1761-1816) sometimes illustrated their own novels. Other prominent kibyoushi
illustrators included artists such as Kitao Shigemasa 北尾重政 (1739-1820), Kitao
Masami 北尾政美 (1764-1824), and Torii Kiyonaga 鳥居清長 (1752-1815). With stricter controls
placed on publishing by the Shogun during the Kansei 寛政 Reforms which began in
1787, kibyoushi authors were restricted to less controversial subject matter;
eventually the genre of kibyoushi gave way to *goukan
合巻, serial romances dealing mostly with historical themes.
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