KAMISAKA SEKKA. ~ Koromogae. Kyoto, Unsodo, Meiji 34 [ 1901].
2 vols, oblong 4to (175 × 240 mm), concertina bound, with 100 woodblock printed designs in colours and silver. Some spotting and foxing, occasionally heavy, but confined to certain openings, one plate cracked with paper repair to verso. Original marbled boards with orange labels. Rubbed, old (Japanese) library labels and stamps. A good copy.
First edition (presumed first issue, being bound concertina style). A very rare and influential kimono design book by the Rinpa master, Kamisake Sekka. Koromogae (literally ‘change of clothes’) consists of 100 striking modernist fabric designs for kimonos, on double leaves. Sekka was an influential advocate for the wearing and design of the kimono among early twentieth-century Japanese women, encouraging the modernisation of its decoration and a closer liaison between producer and consumer.
Sekka is important for having fused traditional Japanese design with European modernism, the latter experienced first hand in his visit to the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901. At the age of 36, Sekka travelled to Europe on behalf of the Kyoto local government to attend the Glasgow Exhibition. He stayed in Europe about six months researching European craft and design before returning to Kyoto where he served as an instructor at the School of Art and Design. ‘Kamisaka Sekka (1866-1942) was one of Japan’s leading artists, designers and art instructors. His bold, visually dynamic designs and innovative approach to production made him one of the great visionaries of modern Japanese art and design’ (Kamisaka Sekka: Dawn of modern Japanese Design, 2012). Libraryhub (formerly COPAC) lists the BL copy only (and a copy of vol. 1 only at Manchester). Worldcat adds National Diet Libryyr (Tokyo) and University of Cincinnati only.