kurohon 黒本
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Lit. black book. A type of illustrated novella which flourished between the 1740s and the 1790s. A type of *kusazoushi 草双紙. The books were printed on half sheets of coarse Mino paper *minogami 美濃紙 ; each booklet consisted of five double pages with a picture title strip *daisen 題簽 attached. Two to three booklets were usually bound together as a unit. The content included stories adapted from popular dramas, the adventures of folk heroes, great battles, miracles, and tales from Buddhist and Shinto literature. In the early period of their publication, kurohon were written and illustrated anonymously or by obscure artisans. Later better-known author-artists included Okumura Masanobu 奥村政信 (1686-1764), Torii Kiyomitsu 鳥居清満 (1735-85) and Tomikawa Ginsetsu 富川吟雪 (active ca. 1700-80). Ginsetsu alone produced over 200 titles. Beginning in the the 1750s, almost all of the illustrations were done by Torii school *Toriiha 鳥居派 artists such as Kiyomasu 2 二代清倍 (1706-63) and Kiyomitsu 清満.


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