1866. Item #87929
KAWAMURA UKOKU. NAGASAKI KIKÔ SHASEICHO 42 double page [image size 25.3 x 29.2 cm] paintings in sumi with slight color, painted by Ukoku in 1866. There are also 8 double page paintings in a different hand and one double page of calligraphy dated to Taisho 11 . Ukoku [1838-1906] was born a member of the samurai class and became an important member of the Meiji government. He was known as a teacher of nanga-style art later in life, but this scroll depicts scenes from a journey he took on behalf of the Bakufu in the closing days of the old Tokugawa regime in the late 1860's. His "sketchbook" of the journey is dated the third month of 1866. We know from his biography that he was sent on a mission to Nagasaki at that time. Besides having many students, fulfilling the Nanga amateur painter ideal, he also eventually served as a justice in the Japanese Supreme Court. His life is a superb example of the interaction of tradition and modernity, vocation and skilled avocation of a truly cultured Japanese gentleman. An art student of his long after Ukoku's death has here bound up the original drawings by Ukoku done some 50 years before together with a series of the student's own watercolor sketches of a local festival and enclosed the whole between wooden covers and in a lovely wooden box. Includes the student's notes, etc. about Ukoku. An interesting and skillful assemblage.