Flowers of a Hundred Years: Modern Girl [of 1920]
By Paul Binnie
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Edition size: 64/100
Sheet size: 46.9 by 33.6 cm
Price: $1150 (excl. taxes)
the series title Hyakunen no Hana and print title Senkyuhakunijuunen no Moga in karazuri ('blind-printing') on upper left margin and Binnie on the bottom margin, signed in kanji, Bin-ni at upper left followed by red artist's seal Binnie, numbered and signed in pencil on the bottom margin, 64/100, Paul Binnie, May 2013
18 1/2 by 13 1/4 in., 46.9 by 33.6 cm
This print, depicting a modern, Westernized girl represents a phenomenon of the 1920s, the moga- a term derived from a contraction of the first syllables of the two words 'modan' (modern) and 'garu' (girl). The moga of Japan were not unlike the flappers in the West, young women who escaped from the paternalism and family controls of previous decades. This beauty displays all of the accoutrements of a typical moga: bobbed hair, flashy Western clothing (the richness of her dress is emphasized with blind-printing and highlighted with mica) revealing a shocking amount of skin, and make-up with sultry, smoky eyes. Unlike a chaste and appropriate young woman of an earlier time, this beauty confidently holds our gaze while elegantly brandishing a lit cigarette. Just off to the side are two cocktails (with gold bands on the glasses), the amber color and Maraschino cherry garnish suggest they are Manhattan cocktails, which was one of the more popular concoctions of the Jazz Age. Of course the presence of two drinks indicates she is not alone.
As is the case with other prints from this special series, the production quality of this print is very high. There were 47 color and bokashi (shading) printings, and details are highlighted in karazuri ('blind-printing'), mica, silver metallic pigment and 23 carat gold leaf. Subscribers who complete the set of twelve will receive a bonus chuban print at the conclusion of the series.