1922. Item #89664
[Shin Hanga Portfolio] Nakazawa Hiromitsu, artist. NIHON TAIKAN. [Views of Japan] Tokyo: Bun'endô, 1922. 38 x 27 cm, oblong folio in size. 50 single sheet color woodblock prints of views, primarily in the Kyoto/Osaka area, with prefatory descriptions, in a tied portfolio with a woodblock cover, in the original printed box, all in a clasped modern folding box. This massive work was undertaken by Kanao Tanejirô of the Bun'endô as a challenge to the primacy of Watanabe in the field of shin hanga. For this effort, he assembled some of the best printers and engravers of the day, Nishimura Kumakichi and Okada Seijirô, and combined their talents with those of Nakazawa Hiromitsu. Hiromitsu's work is at its best, here. Less stiff than that of Hasui or even Yoshida, it carries the re-creation in woodcut of the "feel" of watercolor to new heights. (See Scott Johnson on the `Sketchtour' genre for more on Bunendô and Hiromitsu.) In any case, this most ambitious of landscape productions is also among the rarest. Completed the year before the great Earthquake and fire of 1923, all the unsold sets of NIHON TAIKAN and the blocks themselves were lost. This set of prints is very clean, though the original box is worn and rather broken and the introductory material is quite foxed. Rare:.