1818. Item #90781
Katsushika HOKUSAI 葛飾北斎. Denshin Kaishû HOKUSAI GAKYÔ. 伝神開手 北斎画鏡 全 Nagoya: Hishiya Kyuubei, Edo: Maekawa Rokuzaemon, Osaka: Kawachiya Tasuke, Kyoto: Hishiya Jihei.... The preface is date Bunka 15 . Almost certainly an original printing of this surprisingly scarce work... 26.1 x 17.3 cm. The covers and title label are original. Later (Meiji era) issues had a printed title page mounted on the front mikaeshi. This copy does not, but it may well be that there was none in the first printings...Jack Hillier, in his THE ART OF HOKUSAI IN BOOK ILLUSTRATION, devotes a whole chapter to this book. It exists in at least 2 early editions. One, printed in color but always missing three fascicles when found, is titled SHUGA ICHIRAN. Our version at hand is printed in sumi only, and usually considered the first appearance in 1818, but there has been controversy on that point for years. Our copy is complete, save the possible absence of the title page pastedown as mentioned. But the covers are original with the blindstamped pattern of the earliest copies, so it would be hard to believe the title page was steamed off the inside of the cover and there is an appropriate sheet of paper affixed there.
In any event, one of the most underappreciated of all Hokusai's books, as it is usually found in worn and poorly printed late copies.