Tokaido: Hiroshige-ga Gojusan-tsugi
Genjo Shashin Taisho
(Hiroshige's Fifty Three Stations
of the Tokaido and Corresponding
Taisho Era Photographs)
Taisho 7 (1918)
Hiroshige Ando (reproductions after his work):
Tokaido: Hiroshige-ga Gojusan-tsugi Genjo Shashin Taisho (Hiroshige's Fifty Three Stations of the Tokaido and Corresponding Taisho Era Photographs), Tokyo, Tokoen, 1918 (Taisho 7), oblong small 4to (12 x 8 7/8 in - 30 x 22.6 cm), decorated blindstamped blue or red cloth with green and white decoration and gilt lettering on front board, bound Japanese style and format (reads back to front) with heavy ribbon ties, color illustrated end papers at the front and rear, 55 black and white collotype reproductions of photographs and 1 black and white reproduction of a photograph of stone monuments at Hiroshige's grave site, 58 color "off-set" plates, a total of 114 pages (112 numbered and 2 unnumbered) plus an additional 40 numbered pages of Japanese language text at the rear which contain 11 black and white text illustrations, 154 pages total. The color plates include a map of the Tokaido (two views on 1 plate, one current and one from earlier days), a compilation of Hiroshige's seals (1 plate), portrait of a man seated - probably Hiroshige (1 plate) and 55 reproductions of Hiroshige's prints. This book is a comprehensive comparison of Hiroshige's famous series of 55 woodblock plates recording the various stations on the Tokaido in the summer of 1832 with photographic views of the same locations taken ca. 1918.
While very seldom seen, the book was sold in a cardboard box with color illustrations on the top and the title in Japanese and English [The Fifty-Three Stages of the Tokaido (Past and Present)]. To see the top of the box, click here. The title does not appear in English in the book itself.
The index calls the black and white photograph (sashin) reproductions "collotype." The color prints are called "off-set" in the index and I believe that they can technically characterized as color offset lithographs. The color plates are printed on light tan mat finish (dull) paper of medium thickness with a grill pattern embossed into the paper. The color plates are printed two to a sheet and then the sheet is folded and bound into the book in typical Japanese style. The collotype plates are printed front and back. The sequence is two color plates (one page folded) followed by two black and white collotypes (one sheet printed front and back). Following this pattern the plate on one side is the color reproduction of the Hiroshige print and the facing page is the corresponding black and white collotype reproduction of a photograph showing the same scene at the time the book was published. Each black and white plate has a descriptive paragraph in English at the top and a Japanese language paragraph on the side. The number of each view is stated in Japanese at the top of each black and white plate. Following the 55th collotype plate is a collotype plate showing two stone monuments in honor of Hiroshige.
Hiroshige's famous views of the 53 stations of the Tokaido was composed of 55 prints. These included the terminal points (Nihonbashi on one end and Kyoto on the other) and 53 intermediate stations (tsugi). This books presents all 55 views. The year 1918 marked the 60th anniversary of Hiroshige Ando's (1797-1858) death. His body of work was celebrated that year in Japan by numerous commemorative events and undertakings and this book is one such activity.
Table of Contents
Maps (2 maps on one plate)
Text at Rear (1st of 40 pages)
"Collotype" and "Off-set" Designations
(Found in Table of Contents/Index at Front)
Close Up, Color Plate (Off-set Color Lithograph)
Close Up, Black and White Plate (Collotype)
Locales of all 55 Prints of the
53 Tokaido Stations Series by Hiroshige Ando.
(The start and end are not counted as stations)
12. Between Odawara and Mishima
24. Ihimada (shore of the Kanaya)
40. Chirin (Chirifu) on the Mikawa Plain
42. Miya (Atsuta)
47. Kameyama Castle ("probably painted from Kioguchi")