Kobayashi Kiyochika


The Fountain Outside the Art Museum at the Second Exhibition for the Promotion of Domestic Industry
(Dai nikai nai kangyo hakurankai nai bijutsukan funsui)

with a dusting of mica on the darker shadows of the figures, signed with a foreword by the artist at top right in Japanese, Funsui no jinbutsu okinaredo hanmoto no shinshu kotaeshite hitsu, Koboyashi Kiyochika, the title along the bottom margin in kanji, Dai nikai nai kangyo hakurankai nai bijutsukan funsui, dated in the upper cartouche on the right, otodo Meiji juyonen (registered, Meiji 14 [1881]), followed by the publisher, Fukuda Kumajiro located in Hasegawa-cho, and the artist, Gako Kobayashi Kiyochika, with his address in Yonezawa-cho, 1881

oban yoko-e 9 1/8 by 13 1/4 in., 23.3 by 33.7 cm

During the Meiji era, Japan participated in the major international expositions including Paris (1867, 1889, 1900), Vienna (1873), Philadelphia (1876), Chicago (1893) where they focused on primarily exhibiting a vast array of works of art. Domestically, the government sponsored three National Industrial Expositions (Naikoku Kangyo Hakurankai) in Ueno Park in Tokyo in 1877, 1881 and 1890, followed by two more, one in Kyoto (1895) and another in Osaka in 1903. The domestic expositions also exhibited art and decorative works designed to appeal to the foreign market, as well as demonstrations of Japan's industrial innovations.

This image depicts the exterior of the purpose-built brick Honkan (main gallery) exhibition hall, with its grand fountain comprised of shojo (mythical creatures inordinately fond of drinking) upholding an enormous sake jar facing the main entrance. Celebrated at the time of it's construction as being particularly solid, it was particularly disappointing that it was severely damaged in the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923. Replaced with a new building in 1938 featuring a more traditional Japanese roofline, the second Honkan is the current home of the Tokyo National Museum.

Tokichi Sakai, Kiyochika, The Japan Association for the Preservation of Ukiyo-e, translation by N.S. Gankow, 1969, no. 85
Exhibition of Kobayashi Kiyochika, Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, 1998, p. 26, no. 10
Hideki Kikkawa, Kobayashi Kiyochika: Studies in Light and Shadow of the Westernization of Japan, Seigensha Art Publishing, 2015, p. 32, no. 41
Kobayashi Kiyochika: A Retrospective, Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, 2016, p. 77, no. 112
(inv. no. 10-5022)

price: $2,000


Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.

site last updated
October 21, 2021

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475