Reflections of Tokyo

1. Onchi Koshiro, Nijubashi- Bridge of Imperial Palace (Nijubashi)

Onchi Koshiro (1891-1955)
Hiratsuka Un'ichi (1895-1997)
Yamaguchi Gen (1896-1976)
Kawakami Sumio (1895-1972)
Maekawa Senpan (1888-1960)
Maeda Masao (1904-1974)
Saito Kiyoshi (1907-1997)
Sekino Jun'ichiro (1914-1988)
Azechi Umetaro (1902-1999)

Reflections of Tokyo (Tokyo Kaiko zue)

complete set of fifteen prints, each print in original mat with woodblock-printed paper label with the title in kanji and in English, and the artist's name in kanji only, accompanied by the cover of the original folder with printed title Nihon hanga kyokai dojin ren saku (Series by Japan Print Association Members), Tokyo kaiko zue (Recollections of Tokyo), with publisher's round seal Mt. Fuji seal in English, FUGAKU, and in kanji, Fugaku Shuppansha Kanko (published by Fugaku Shuppansha), and with original printed pamphlet with the Japanese title, Tokyo Kaiko zue, followed by title in English, Scenes of Last [sic] Tokyo, 15 Scenes of Last Tokyo in Original Wood-cut, with the table of contents in Japanese and in English, followed by text explaining the intention of the publication, short biographies on each contributing artist, and publisher's information, Uemura Masuo, Fugaku Shuppansha, and dated twice, Showa nijunen junigatsu jugonichi insatsu (printed on Showa 20 [1945], 12th month, 15th day), and Showa nijunen junigatsu hatsuka hanko (published on Showa 20 [1945], 12th month, 20th day), ca. 1945

each print approximately 7 7/8 by 11 1/8 in., 20 by 28.2 cm

The accompanying text from the artists explains that due to the destruction from the air raids during the war, many buildings, both modern and dating to the Meiji and Edo Periods, were damaged or lost. In response, the Japan Print Association decided to issue this series showing images of locations before they were damaged. While not all of the fifteen subjects were completely destroyed, many were seriously damaged, and happily the beloved Nijubashi survived unscathed. Each print reflects the artist's appreciation of that particular scene.

This collaborative series was published very quickly after the war with contributions by the leading Sosaku Hanga artists of the day: Onchi Koshiro (3), Hiratsuka Un'ichi (2), Yamaguchi Gen (2), Kawakami Sumio (2), Maekawa Senpan (2), Maeda Masao (1), Saito Kiyoshi (1), Sekino Jun'ichiro (1) and Azechi Umetaro (1). The designs by Onchi, Hiratsuka, Maekawa and Kawakami were made from recut blocks from the series Shin Tokyo hyakkei (One Hundred Views of New Tokyo) which was completed in 1932.

Helen Merritt, Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: The Early Years, 1990, p. 282
Helen Merrit, and Nanako Yamada, Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, 1992, p. 277
Maribeth Graybill, ed. The Artist's Touch, The Craftsman's Hand, Portland Art Museum, 2012



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site last updated
September 22, 2022

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
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