Surimono

 

The word surimono (摺物) literally means “printed thing”.  Surimono are privately commissioned prints used as New Year’s cards, to make announcements or to commemorate important events.  Those intended as New Year’s cards were often commissioned by groups of amateur poets.  Surimono are characterized by small editions and costly printing methods, since they were not intended to be sold for profit.  Most bear kyoka (31 syllable poems), and they are often of a size known as shikishiban (色紙判, about 8 by 7 inches or 21 by 18 centimeters).  There is an element of subjectivity in deciding whether or not a particular print is a surimono when either the quality is deficient or the size is other than shikishiban.

Series

Robinson

1961‡

Schaap

1998†

Surimono of actors

 

2.b.1 and 2.d.1

Surimono of landscapes

 

2.a.5

Surimono of women

148

2.a.1, 2.a.2, 2.a.3, 2.a.4 and 2.a.6

Surimono of miscellaneous subjects

 

 

‡ listing in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson, 1961, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

† listing in Heroes and Ghosts: Japanese Prints by Kuniyoshi by Robert Schaap (Hotei Publishing, Leiden, 1998)

 

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