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Catalogue 39A, Japan and East Asia
Articles: Scott Johnson's Sketchtour article (ANDON 37)
We have an extensive collection of 20th century livres d'artiste by Japanese author/artist Takei Takeo. It includes 138 books, printed with many different processes, as well as nearly all of the original book boxes (honbako) Takei designed for the collection.
click image for more detail & pictures.
[DESIGN] Kamisaka SEKKA. UTA-E. Kyoto & Tokyo: Unsôdô, Shôwa 9 . 1 volume, 31 x 22 cm, cloth, ribbon bound covers, paper label. 25 color full page images after designs by Sekka. As Sekka's last work, it crowns his remarkable career with a lovely evocation of Kôetsu's Saga-bon. (For more on this important work, see Hillier's description on p.976 of the second volume of his ART OF THE JAPANESE BOOK.) The condition is a bit better than average, with relatively little of the offsetting from the prints to the poems that is usual in this book. Slight foxing and slight edgewear. The printing is very good, the colors lovely. It is a very good copy overall. Housed in the original titled chitsu case which shows general soiling all over, no clasps and with some folds starting. One volume (complete). $3,250.00 #84906 order or inquire
[SKETCHTOUR GENRE] Fukuda Shûtaro [Bisen], artist. SHINA SANJÛ- GAKAN. Tokyo, Kanao Bun'endô, Taishô 9 . 2 volumes, oblong folio, 23.2 x 31.2 cm.
A few years after Bun'endô had published the justly famous SHINA TAIKAN by the same artist, the publisher, Kanao Takejiro, assembled the same group of artisans (incuding the master printer, Nishimura Kumakichi) to craft another "take" on the scenery of China - a series of 30 "scrolls" in color woodcut embedded in a narrative shot through with a multitude of illustrations in other media. Scott Johnson in his seminal article on the sketchtour genre in ANDON 37, has called SHINA TAIKAN "the most ambitious of all the sketch-tour books." The SHINA SANJÛ-GAKAN is certainly no less of an impressive achievment (and a much scarcer book).
Enormously expensive to produce (It was priced at 50 Yen, impressive even by the inflationary standards of the time!) few were sold and this set is hardly ever found. Our copy has the original wraparound chitsu case with clasps intact. The chitsu itself is a work of art, depicting junks on a river. With a bit of internal foxing and a hint of hinge weakening, but overall a very nice set, complete, of an important and scarce work in the sketchtour genre: $2,250.00 #71916 Click image for more pictures or here to inquire or order.
[EHON] Tani BUNCHÔ, artist. SHAZANRO GAHON. Tôto [Edo]; Izumiya Tôjiro, Bunsei 9 . Original dark green/blue covers, printed paper title label. 27.2 X 18.8 cm. 5 pages of prefatory material are followed by 40 pages of sumi-e and color prints, mostly double page, sealed prints, then a one page afterword by Bunchô and a one page colophon/ad page by Izumiya. With the exception of one small spot of ink on one page and a few expertly repaired tears in the pages, about as nice a copy of this book as one could ever hope to find. We have compared it to a copy with the original 1816 colophon and found ours equivalent, if not actually a bit better, illustrating yet again the profound complexity of Japanese bibliography. This copy is printed on very thin paper, much thinner than the norm. The printing is very early and impeccable, the colors appropriate, the overall condition very good or better. In Bunchô's inimitable style reminiscent of his work for the MEIKA GAFU. $4,250.00 #82612 Click here to inquire or order.
[EHON MANUSCRIPT] SHIJÔ SCHOOL ALBUM. Fukuro-toji style string-bound album, 26.5 x 19.3 cm, consisting of 14 double page and 12 single page color images painted in a skillful Shijô manner, apparently a product of the mid-19th century. The majority of the images are of figures, with a significant minority of bird and flower studies. This work is very problematical: the cover once had a paper label, it is gone, but in its place, someone has brushed in faintly "Kakinuma Kohei Kaichô" [The Pictorial Notebook of Kakinuma Kohei]. We have been unable to unearth any reference to a Kakinuma Kohei. In addition there are various kanbun-style poetical utterances on the backcover. However, it would seem that the covers have been added later, as the first and last paintings are both worn and soiled, as if they had been the outside covers themselves for a long time. Thus the inscriptions and the cover title are probably not contemporary with the work itself and may be of doubtful accuracy.
In any case, the work is obviously done in the style of a printed "gafu", right down to the square-ruled sumi borders. Whether it was meant to be a "gakô" or painted preliminary from which an actual book was to be designed or whether it was a sketchbook done in the spirit of a printed work, the images are well designed and executed: the composition and brushwork are quite competent. More importantly, there is resident in almost every painting all the high energy and high spirits of mid-19th century Shijô at its best.
As regards the temptation to call this work a skillful copy from an existent published gafu, none of the images seem to have appeared elsewhere. We cannot point to any work from which they could have been copied and neither can any other expert we have consulted. As for the question of "Kakinuma Kohei"'s identity or whether he was even the painter, there may never be a satisfactory answer. The album is lovely and, ultimately, may well prove enigmatic. $2,250.00 #33224 Click here to order or inquire.
[MAP - JAPAN]. [SETTSU NO KUNI MEISHO]. Kyoto, Kimura Juyôdô, Kan'en Gannen . A handcolored woodblock printed map of Settsu provice, containing the area of Osaka castle, etc. 117.3 X 129.1 cm, folds into heavy paper covers of approximately 27.7 x 18.9 cm. The original title slip is gone, replaced by a handbrushed label: "Osaka no Kuni" "Carte?? Baie d'Osacca." Lovely and interesting map, found at Beans main volume, p.22, 1748.1. Condition is very good, printed on very strong and supple paper. Image at left is a detail. (For a complete illustration, see the record at University of British Columbia's website for the Beans copy.) Our copy has different hand-coloring. The Beans copy hand-colors the harbor, ours hand-colors the land, primarily. $2,250.00 #82693 Click here to order or inquire.
[MAP - JAPAN] Gyokuransai SADAHIDE & Kikuchi Shu^zo. MUSASHI NO KUNI ZENZU. Edo, Kikuya Ko^saburo & 12 others. Ansei 3  112 X 127 cm. An interesting colored woodcut map of the Musashi plain. Folds into its original titled covers, 28 x 18.6 cm. Nice colors, impression and colors. Sadahide was not only a talented printmaker but was also responsible for several important maps of the time. [Beans 1856.13] in Supplement B, page 41. See the University of British Columbia's website for more info on this map; image at left is a detail. $1,850.00 #82697 Click here to order or inquire.
[EHON] Keisai Masayoshi, artist. SANSUI RYAKUGA SHIKI. Edo: Suwaraya Ichibei. Kansei 12 . 26.5 x 18.0 cm. 30 sheets. Printed floral pattern on the covers [probably not original, as the printed title on the inner front cover is not present in this copy]. 29 single page and 15 double page color illustrations. Ref. Brown p.124; Mitchell p.460,1; 93,4; Ryerson p.213; Hillier pp. 477,8, 480. This copy has a few stains and spots internally, and is a bit thumbed, but the printing is quite good. This book of landscapes is one of the loveliest of Keisai's works. $1,285.00 #36160 Click here to order or inquire.
[DESIGN BOOK] Kamisaka SEKKA [Yoshitaka]. SHIKISHI. Kyoto: Tanaka jihei, Meiji 34 . 2 folios, each 31.2 x 21.5 cm. Volume one has 2 color prints and 30 b+w sumi prints, volume two has 30 b+w sumi prints. An interesting design book of subtlety. The covers are quite worn, but overall a good printing in good condition. String-bound fukuro-toji Japanese style with the title printed on the covers. Complete. $1,450.00 #83262 Click here to order or inquire.
[EHON] Nishimura NANTEI. NANTEI GAFU. Kyoto, Kyowa 4, . 3 vols. in one, gappon, in tan covers with a blindstamped vegetal gourd pattern. 25.8 x 18.2 cm. The printed paper label is present but chipped, the covers are soiled. Good printing with slight worming. Overall a good copy of this classic Shijo work. See Mitchell 432 for a description of this book. Our version is printed without the kyoka poems. Complete. $1,450.00 #82093 Click here to order or inquire.
[EHON] Kawamura Kihô, artist. KIHÔ GAFU. Kyoto: Yoshida Shimbei, Bunsei 10, . 1 vol. (complete). 17.5 x 25.9 cm. 5 page prelims, 30 double page color woodblock prints, 1p final, 8pp ads, colophon. The covers are greyish-blue with a swirling wave pattern in mica. The title label is worn. The covers are a bit soiled and stained and the contents are very lightly thumbed with a bit of worming. Good to very good impressions and colors. Kihô was the adopted son of Bumpô and his work rivals Bumpô's in freshness and simplicity. This copy appears to resemble Mitchell's example "A" and is doubtless an early impression. (Ref: Mitchell pp.360,1; Brown p.105; Ryerson p.388) $1,375.00 #36171 Click here to order or inquire.
[BASEBALL - JAPAN] Shihon Gakkou-hen. SHÔGAKU TOKUHON Maki no Ichi. Aichi-ken [Nagoya] Shihongakkô [Teacher's College] n.d. [1870's] An interesting little elementary school reader from the first series of textbooks designed and created by the Teachers College Normal School system in Japan after the Meiji restoration to introduce "Western Learning" to the country.
What follows is a series of excerpts from an informative article found online:
"The Normal School, which was under the direct jurisdiction of the Department of Education, was also requested to compile elementary school textbooks on the basis of its practical experience. Also an office for editing elementary school textbooks was set up in the Normal School in December, 1872.
The Department of Education encouraged independent prefectures to reprint the textbooks and other educational material which it and the Normal School had compiled, and it was not long before most of the prefectures adopted this practice and the reprinted textbooks were in nationwide use. Especially following the establishment of regulations for the course of study for elementary schools by the Normal School the textbooks prepared by this institute gained wide acceptance. These textbooks included elementary school readers, introductory geography, outlines of Japanese topography, outlines of world topography, outlines of Japanese history, outlines of world history, elementary school arithmetic, etc. The elementary school textbooks proved to be an interesting introduction of the new knowledge based on the Civilization and Enlightenment (Bunmeikaika) thought, and they were accepted not only as textbooks but also as popular reading material for the public at large. Thus their influence was of considerable importance in the dissemination of the new culture."
It is pretty clear that the introduction of Western culture also entailed the introduction of a least a variety of baseball in the 1870's, as well (a fact confirmed by other sources on the origins of baseball in Japan). The American educational consultants and their Japanese colleagues in Aichi saw fit to include a cut and a story with a group of boys playing with bats and balls, pitching and hitting - interesting proof that baseball is nearly as old in Japan as it is in the States. The text of the story, crudely translated, is:
"Look at at you, playing with that ball you brought and look at me, hitting it with the bat I have. That ball is a hard one, but there are soft ones, too, so that even if someone gets hit with it, they won't get hurt. Children love to play ball and find it so good that they play til the end of the day. They'll play in the heat all day long. Sometimes, despite the greatest heat, they will foolishly play on and damage their health."
Hard to tell whether the text is praising baseball or damning it, but it is pretty clear that kids loved it. By the way, the Japanese terms for ball and hit are the exact noun and verb used today as baseball terms.
As described above, these early textbooks were printed for the immediate local audience - here the new school system of Aichi Ken - present day Nagoya and environs. The prints were probably printed locally, as well. Very unusual. The condition is only fair to good - the printing is good, the images interesting naive art. Complete copy of this volume one of the new reader series and a fascinating piece of baseball incunabulum. $1,250.00 #81170 Click here to order or inquire.
[EHON] Kumasaka TEKIZAN, artist. SANSUI KARA-E SHINAN Suharaya Môhei, et al., Ansei 4-5 [1857-8]. 2 volumes [Shohen, Ni-hen] Small format string-bound fukuro-toji binding in paper covers with a printed paper title label, 17.6 x 12 cm. Nanga-style color illustrations throughout. Mitchell refers to one volume in the BM. [Mitchell pp. 185, 460] Pleasant and gentle one page landscape studies. The condition is about very good, as are the colors and printing. Nanga works are by no means common and this is a particularly lovely example of the genre. 2 volumes. $975.00 #36213 Click here to order or inquire.
[EHON] Matsumura GOSHUN, artist. NIHON MEIGA KAGAMI. Tokugawa Jidai. Tokyo: Tôyôdô Branch Shop, Kanda, Meiji 31 . Stamped in red on the title slip "Goshun-Ôeyama". Large, 25 cm x 18 cm orihon folding album. In embossed stiff creme paper covers. There are 12 double page color printed images. A pleasing Meiji rendition of Goshun's inimitable style. Particularly interesting as the images are freighted with bits and pieces of the whole 19th century development in the Shijô school: Suiseki, Chinnen, etc. By no means a common work, identical to the copy at Mitchell 434, (see also Ryerson 378). The covers are soiled and a bit stained, internally vg. The impressions and colors are very good. Complete. $685.00 #37861 Click here to order or inquire.
KAWAJI Ryûkô, poet. ONCHI Kôshiro, artist. MUI NO SEKKEI, Shishû. Tokyo, Fugaku Honsha, Shôwa 22 . Large 8vo., the book was designed by Onchi and illustrated by him as well. There is a wonderful abstract "essential portrait of the poet" in color woodcut by Onchi. Kawaji was the mentor in poetry for Yukio Mishima when the latter was in his early teens. The book represents quite an interesting intersection of author, artist & designer. The covers are a bit soiled, else very good condition overall. #43 of 600cc, signed by Ryûkô. [Onchi, HON NO BIJITSU, p 116] $675.00 #80621 Click here to order or inquire.
[SÔSAKU HANGA] KATÔ Tetsunosuke, artist. HOKKAIDÔ FÛKEI TEZURI HANGA SHÛ. Published by the Sapporo Kankô Kyôkai. [Sapporo Tourism Association). A folder, bound in grass cloth containing 5 handprinted color woodcuts (image size: approx. 10 x 14.5 cm) of landscapes around Sapporo, done in an elegiac and realistic style of sôsaku hanga. This folder was probably published in the 1930's, when Katô was most active. (He is best known in this country for the lovely landscape watercolors he did, signed "T. Kato") Though little is known of him, Merritt, in her most recent survey, does mention his participation in sôsaku hanga groups at the time. This work is in very good condition, and the prints themselves are quite skillful. Appears to be complete, as the only other copy I've found reference to also had five prints: $650.00 #38283 Click here to order or inquire.
BONVALOT, Gabriel. DE PARIS AU TONKIN A TRAVERS LE TIBET INCONNU. Illustrated by engravings after photographs by Prince HENRI D'ORLEANS. Paris: Librairie Hachette et Cie, 1892. First edition. 510 +  pp. 4to., half red morocco with gilt rules, raised bands, gilt spine ornaments and lettering, t.e.g, red marbled paper covered boards. Boards and corners worn, boards with moderate shelfwear and a few scratches. Front joint tender. Marbled endpapers. Color folding map at p. 464 in excellent condition. Clean and tight text. Very good. $350.00 #85157 Click here to order or inquire.