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JAPANESE WOOD ENGRAVINGS

not take advantage of colour block engraving, although the process had become known before his death, but some of his volumes were admirably coloured by hand, and in a style that recalls the manner of the artist in his original sketches. It is probable that it was the success of these painted books that led to the adoption of colour printing by Torii Kiyonobu and his successors a generation later. His principal works appeared between 1680 and 1701; but he lived many years after the latter date, and died about 1714 at the age of sixty-seven.

The name of Hishigawa Moronobu was adopted by a successor who imitated his style of painting, and the names of several other followers are recorded, but we know nothing of their work. There were, however, many unsigned book illustrations bearing traces of the manner of Moronobu published about the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries, and it may be assumed that they issued from his school.

Although Moronobu was the leader of the new departure, there was one later contemporary artist who took an independent and important part in the establishment of artistic book illustration. This was Okumura Masanobu, a less vigorous and original designer than the master, but one of high capacity. Like Moronobu he made a speciality of the E-hon, or picture-book pure and simple–albums of pictures without any pretence of text beyond a short marginal script–and he was the author of many admirable pictorial broadsides (known in Japan as ìchimai-yé, or “single-sheet sketches”). He, indeed, may be said to have done for the broadside what Moronobu did for the book, for his work in this direction appears to have preceded that of the Toriis, the great broadside artists of the eighteenth century. There are three of his books in the British Museum Collection, and a broadside representing a figure of a young girl, drawn with a beauty of line that rivals the best of the work of his follower Nishigawa Sukénobu. The sheet in question is coloured by hand for sale, but some of the later prints published in concurrence with those of Torii Kiyonobu about 1710 have been struck off from two blocks, one in black, the other in tint. Fig. 7 is a good example of his manner.

Finally, two other names deserve mention–those of Haségawa Tōün and Ishikawa Riusen. The former is represented by the illustrations to