1920. Item #71916
[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:.