Eisen Tomioka (1864 - 1905)
A Wife’s Heart Kuchi-e Print, 1901
Comments - Beautiful design of a the young beauty Onene lost in thought, her chin resting on her hands as she looks down sadly. In love with another woman, her husband has lied to her, telling her that a powerful daimyo has ordered them to be divorced. She feels that she has no choice but to accept his arguments, even though she knows they are not true. She is wrapped in a soft plum outer kimono with white insets featuring delicate blossoms in gray and tiny colorful geometric shapes, trimmed with a red collar. The lamp beside her also features grasses on the paper shade, and a wisp of smoke rises from an incense burner set on a small red lacquer stand. This image appears as plate 3.12 in Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada’s recent book, “Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture.” A lovely, poignant portrait from the novel “A Wife’s Heart” (Tsuma no Kokoro).