~~ Plate Folio 1946100215a ~~

Touring Kyoto and Vicinity, ca 1946
US Army, I Corps

 
Condition. The pictorial folder is in Good condition with faded and lightly soiled areas and numerous chips and tears along the edges. The plates are in Very Good+ condition. A couple have edge damage at one end but no tears or breaks that enter the image or text areas.

 
United States Army, I Corps:
Touring Kyoto and Vicinity, Kyoto, Japan, U.S. Army, Headquarters I Corps, G2, Official Visitors Liaison Office, printed by Benrido Printing Co., Ltd, ca 1946, folio of 87 loose plates (53 black and white & 34 color), large 4to, pictorial folder (maps front and back). The plates are reproductions of artists' paintings of many of the historic, cultural, scenic and US military facilities in and around Kyoto was prepared especially for "official" visitors to the city and members of the command stationed there. The illustration on the front of the pictorial folder is by Yoson Ikeda. The folio is accompanied by a plain (no text or illustrations) cardboard wrap-around enclosure.

The folio consists of 87 plates. These plates measure 10 x 14 1/4 in - 25.1 x 36.2 cm. They are printed on medium thickness paper that is glossy on the image side and flat on the back. Most images contain, on the image area, a descriptive caption, the artist's name in English and the Japanese artist's seal. Below each images is a paragraph generally containing the location (Kyoto, Nara), a descriptive caption and a supplementary information paragraph.

There are 53 black and white plates and 34 color plates. The folder lists Benrido Printing Co., Ltd. Kyoto as the printer. Benrido is a widely respected printing business noted for its craftsmanship in collotype printing using nineteenth century printing techniques. The color plates are clearly not collotype plates. I believe that some, or perhaps all, of the black and white plates are collotypes. However, I do have reservations.

  1. The paper is of the nature of photographic paper (glossy front) and perhaps these are photographic copies of collotype prints. I do note that there is ink offset on the backs of plates which indicates, to me, ink (printing) rather than photograph plates. Both color and black and white plates are printed on this same type of paper.
  2. The plates contain extensive text in the margins and that is not commonly found on collotype plates.
  3. Some of the plates have a faint laid (grid) pattern within the printed area which I have not seen in collotype prints.

Close-ups images of color and black and white plates are provided below.

Five of the plates are attributed to the American artist, Robert Higgs. These plates are captioned:

  • War's Desolation
  • Japanese Torii
  • Japanese Fishing Boats
  • Higashi (East) Hongan-ji (Temple)
  • Japanese Street Scene

Two of the plates are attributed to "American Artist Mundt." These are captioned:

  • Daibutsu (Great Buddha)
  • Osaka Castle

This folio of prints was prepared for presentation to official visitors to Kyoto and the United States Army I Corps located there. It is undated but the map on the back of the accompanying letter states 1946 and that is the presumed date of publication.

The map on the inside of the pictorial folder is a detailed street map of Kyoto. The legend for the map is quite informative. It indicates that the map was compiled by Army Engineers in 1944 based on various Japanese official maps prepared between the period of 1932 and 1941. The detail presented in the map is indicative of a sensitivity on the part of the US military to document important cultural sites in the Kyoto area. Such information would be critical in targeting decisions should bombing or other military actions become necessary in Kyoto. Fortunately, the use made of this information was to provide the visiting guests to the I Corps area a guide to the Kyoto sights.

There is no listing of plates with the folio. Below I have recorded the descriptive title and artist for this 87 plate folio.

Folder

    Outside


    Inside



Enclosed Letter with Black & White Map on Back

Letter:


"Symbolic Map of Japan, 1946, Osaka, Painted by Chichilow - Imatake"



Examples of Black & White Plates
Ginkakuji by Shibarhara Kisho Toji (Temple) by Hamada Kan Biwako (Lake Biwa) by Koun Yamamoto
Examples of Color Plates
Geisha Dancing Girls by Ito Shoha Miyako Hotel by Sakakibara Taizan Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion Temple) by Oya Shunrei Doshisha University by Koyo Nakata Kyoto Imperial Palace by Ito Sekka Diabutsu (Giant Buddha) by "American Artist Mundt" Osaka Castle by "American Artist Mundt" Tenryuji (Temple) by Oya Shunrei
Plated Reproducing Robert Higgs Art
War's Desolation Japanese Torii Japanese Fishing Boats Higashi (East) Hongan-ji (Temple) Japanese Street Scene
Close-up, black and white plate: Close-up, color plate:

 
Listing of All Plates (titles and artist as stated on the plate, numbers are mine)

    ~~~Black & White Plates ~~~

  1. Shokubutsuen (Botanical Garden) by Higashimara Hosen
  2. Chion-in (Temple) by Shigahara Kisho
  3. Mii-Dera (Temple) by Higashimahara Hosen
  4. Kibun Shrine by Kawaguchi Gosen
  5. Kyoto City Hall by Shuso Iwa
  6. Gojo-saka (Teapot Lane) by Sanko Kawamoto
  7. Yumedono (Dream Hall) by Ita Sekka (Nara)
  8. Shinyakushiji (Temple) by Sakakibara Taizan (Nara)
  9. Kurama Temple by Shibahara Kisho
  10. Imperial Museum by Ito Sekko (Nara)
  11. Yasaka Gekiji (Theater) by Hamada Kun
  12. War's Desolation by Robert Higgs (no location specified)
  13. Iwashimizu Hachiman-Gu (Rock Spring) by Koun Yamamoto
  14. Nishi (West) Honganji (Temple) by Azusima Kancho
  15. Daimaru Department Store by Sanko Kawamoto
  16. Hamlet of Ohara by Kawaguchi Gosen
  17. Nijo Palace by Kayo Hatta
  18. Saihoji (Moss Temple) by Koun Yamamoto
  19. Japanese Torii by Robert Higgs
  20. Japanese Fishing Boats by Robert Higgs
  21. New Kyoto Stateside Theater by Kawaguchi Gosen
  22. Bijitsukan (Art Museum) by unreadable Japanese name
  23. Zoheikyoku (Imperial Mint) by Kancho Azusima
  24. Myoshin-ji (Temple) by Aoki Seichu
  25. Marubutsu Department Store by Aoki Seichu
  26. Daibutsu (Big Bell) by Shibahara Kisho
  27. Takao Bridge by Oya Shunrei
  28. Kyoto Hotel by Koyo Nakata
  29. Yasaka Tower by Kawaguchi Gosen
  30. Omi-Zingu (Shrine) by Omizingu Osu
  31. Daiken Building by Aoki Seichu
  32. Kibune Shrine by Kawaguchi Gosen
  33. 364th Station Hospital by Koyo Nakata
  34. Higashi (East) Honganji (Temple) by Sanko Kawamoto
  35. Hozu-Kyo (Rapids) by Koun Yamamoto
  36. Ninnaji (Temple) by Hamada Kun
  37. Kyoto Imperial University by Ito Sekka
  38. Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion Temple) by Shibahara Kisho
  39. Maruyama Park by Sakakibara Taizan
  40. Higashi (East) Hongan-ji (Temple) by Robert Higgs
  41. Ishiyama-Dera (Temple) by Iwasa Hokoo
  42. Momoyamagoryo (Imperial Tomb) by Iwasa Hoboo
  43. Sanzu-Sangen-do (Temple) by Ito Sekka
  44. Kyoto Temmondai (Observatory) by Azusima Kancho
  45. Eighth Army Recreation Center by Koyo Nakata
  46. Kyoto Prefectural Building by Sanko Kawamoto
  47. Koji (Temple) by Hamada Kan
  48. Kiyomizu Temple by Sakakibara Taizan
  49. Kitano Shrine by Koyo Na-Kata
  50. Biwako (Lake Biwa) by Koun Yamamoto
  51. Tsuten (Tofuku) Temple by Shibahara Kisho
  52. Kure Harbor no artist state by probably American as American ships shown in harbor
  53. Sarusawa No Ike (Monkey Swamp Pont) by Oya Shunrei (Nara)
  54. Nara Hotel by Sakakibara Taizan
  55. ~~~Color Plates~~~

  56. Geisha Dancing Girls by Ito Shoha
  57. Ye Old Donut Shoppe by Koyo Nakata
  58. Japanese Street Scene by Robert Higgs
  59. Kasuga-Jinja (Spring-day Shrine) by Koun Yamamoto
  60. Daigo-ji (Temple) by Shuso Iwa
  61. MT. Hiei by Koei Ikeda
  62. Heian Jingu (Shrine) by Aoki Seichu
  63. Heian Jingu (Shrine) by Aoki Seichu
  64. Obakusan Manpukuji (Temple) by Oya Shunrei
  65. Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion Temple) by Oya Shunrei
  66. Doshisha University by Koya Nakata
  67. Arashiyama by Hamada Kan
  68. Nara Park by Aoki Seichu
  69. Kyoto Imperial Palace by Ito Sekka
  70. Saint Agnes Church by Koyo Nakata
  71. Yasaka Jinja (Shrine) by Iwasa Hohoo
  72. Military Cathedral by Sakakibara Taizan
  73. Daibutsu (Great Buddha) by "American Artist Mundt"
  74. Konnichian Tea House by Oya Shunrei
  75. Osaka Castle by "American Artist Mundt"
  76. Yakushi-ji (Temple) by Shuso Iwo
  77. Kamigamo Shrine by Sainko Kawamoto
  78. Kiyomizu Temple by Sakakibara Taizan
  79. Daikaku-ji (Temple) by Koei Ikda
  80. Shugakuin Summer Palace by Hagashihara Hosen
  81. Toshodaiji (Temple) by Koyo Nakata
  82. Byodo-in (Temple) by K. Hatta
  83. Ryuanji (Temple) by Hamada Han
  84. Uji Bridge by Oya Shunrei
  85. Tenryuji (Temple) by Oya Shunrei
  86. Katsura-Rikyu (Katsura Summer Villa) by Koun Yamamoto
  87. Saint Frances (Catholic) Church by Shuso Iwa
  88. Inari Shrine by Fushimi Inari

 


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