~~ Book 1892050712 ~~

Japanese Life
Kazumasa Ogawa, c1892

Title
No Address, plates "In Collotype"

 
Condition. The book is in Fair condition. The front cover is present but completely severed along the left (binding) side. The back cover is firmly attached. Front inside cover has a bookplate reading "De laBibliotheque Louis Becker." Both front and back covers have wear, light soiling and pieces missing, particularly along at the corners. Internally the book is clean and free of significant faults. The Kelly and Walsh insert has some light creasing but is very clean.



Ogawa, K. (Kazumasa)
Japanese Life, Yokohama, Kelly & Walsh, Folio (11 3/4 x 16 in - 30 x 40.5 cm), ca 1892, decorated card covers, string ties, 12 black and white collotype plates with a total of 27 different images. There are 7 plates with one image each and 5 plates with 4 images each. Each plate is protected by tissue guard and has a descriptive title below the image on the plate. Many seldom seen images to include "Darby and Joan (an elderly couple tending to chores) and an "old-time policman and his catch." This books should not be confused with the K. Ogawa books (8vo) under a similar title, Illustrations of Japanese Life. The images in that series are not found in this book. The book is accompanied by a Kelly & Walsh "Sole Agents" color woodblock insert page.

For information on Kazumasa Ogawa, click here.

The 12 Black and White Collotype Plates (27 images):

The Final Glance.



O'Machida Sama' (Excuse me for keeping you waiting.)



From the hana-chi (flower market.)



Honorable guests, attention? Oyen-san Is ready.



On a Country Cross-road.



On the Sumida at Mukojima when the Cherry-trees blossom.


Darby & Joan in the Piney-woods.



- Country belles at their best. (top left)
- An Oiran (A Yoshiwara Beauty). (top right)
- It will do. (bottom left)
- The coiffure. (bottom right)



- Donata Kesu - ka?  (Who is it?) (top left)
- The salutation. (top right)
- A Japanese Hen Covention. (bottom left)
- He has come. (Let us look pretty.) (bottom right)



- The teahouse girl's Elysium. (top left)
- Making ready for the return of the good-man 
  and the boys. (top right)
- The blind shampooer. (bottom left)
- Dinner. (bottom right)



Sights and Scenes on the Tokaido. (4 different images)



- A peripatetic picture. (top left)
- A coumcil of war. (top right)
- At the photographers. (bottom left)
- An old-time police-man and his catch (bottom right)



7 plates with one image each (7)
5 plates with four images each (20)

27 images in total

 

Common Characteristics of K. Ogawa's
"Types and Views" Series, 1892-1896

 

During the period from 1892 through 1896 Kazumasa Ogawa produced a series of photographic books with collotype plates which have several common characteristics. Because of these common characteristics, I call them the "Types and Views" series. This is not a series name that Ogawa used.

Individually, each of the books represent the work of a master photographer executing the results of his labor through a then state of the art high quality printing process. Considered as a series, these books form an amazing pictorial mosaic of Japanese life, customs, cultural treasures and scenic places, recorded as Japan emerged from relative isolation to the outside world and entered into the 20th century.

  • Size & Format. Large 4to/Small Folio (11 3/4 x 16 in - 30 x 40.5 cm) size in Western style horizontal format reading from front to back. Crepe paper books are smaller.

  • Covers and Bindings.

    • Front and back covers.

      The covers are made from a thick card stock type paper. On the outside they are lithographed in colors (gray/beige background with black, white, light and dark green and silver) with a repeating pattern of concentric overlapping half circles, stylized clouds with leaves inside and breaking waves in silver. The inside of the covers have a two color butterfly pattern.

       
      Variety Covers


      One book has been examined (Views of Tokyo, 1895) which is a variant from the norm. It is roughly 90% of the width and approximately 55% of the length (10 1/8 x 6 3/4 in - 25.5 x 17.4 cm) of the regular versions.

       

    • Double string ties. The covers have two double string type ties that are usually tied in a cross type pattern in the front. The crossed ties end in tassels. Occasionally the ties are not crossed in the front and these do not have a tassel.

    • Spines. Thicker books have a fabric type covering protecting the entire spine. On the thinner books there is sometimes a fabric strip (usually dark blue) covering approximately 2 1/2 inches at the head and foot of the spine. These spine covers are delicate and breakup easily and the norm is for them to be missing or badly deteriorated.

    • Title. The book title is lithographed in bamboo stylized lettering in a title box on the front cover which is framed by two silver lines. "K. Ogawa" is identified as the photographer, "Tokyo, Japan" is the location and the titles generally state "In Collotype & From Photographic Negatives Taken by Him." If the book has descriptive text, the author of that text is identified. Where not all the photographs were take by K. Ogawa it merely states "In Collotype." Some books were distributed by "Sole Agents" and that is stated along with the name and location of the agent.

  • Collotype Plates.

    • The plates were manufactured by the collotype process. This is a high quality mechanical process capable of creating sharp images with a wide variety of tones. For more information on the collotype printing process, click here.

    • Black and White versus Color Images. As a general rule the plates are printed in black and white. Occasionally they are hand colored. I am unaware of a book of this type where the plates were actually printed mechanically in color using a multi pass collotype process as you see in the Ogawa flower collotypes in the Brinkley books of 1897-1898. The few color plates found in this series of books are hand colored.

    • Descriptive Titles. Plates generally have a descriptive title in English placed at the foot of the image. In some cases the descriptive title is printed on the tissue guard protecting the plate and not on the plate. The descriptive titles on the plates were applied in a separate letter type printing process from the collotype process that created the actual image on the plate. On the back you often see the indentations where the title was impressed on the plate.

    • Paper Color and Thickness. The paper color of the collotype plates in this series is brown/tannish. The thickness is similar to a thin index card. While the paper is not limp, it bends very easily. Below is a relative color comparison of various papers found in this and other Ogawa collotype plates.

      1. Types and View books
      (1892-6)

      2. Landscape Gardening Supplement (1893)

      3. Sights and Scenes in Fair Japan (1910)

      4. Bright white paper for comparison

      Composite view

     

  • Collotype / Phototype. The titles generally state the plates are "In Collotype" but with some books the term "In Phototype" is used. Occasionally, the same book can be found (Celebrated Geysha of Tokyo, 12 plate version, for instance) where covers with either of the terms are found. In the context of Ogawa books "collotype" and "phototype" are synonymous. The term "phototype" is the French word for the collotype. The term was used primarily in Europe but collotype quickly became the preferred designation. I suppose it is possible that for books intended for export to Europe the title used the term phototype.

  • Colophons. Except in cases where a book had an author who wrote the descriptive text, colophons are generally not found with the books. However, I believe that most of the books were actually issued with Japanese language colophon slips inserted loose at the back of the book. The lack of these slips is what makes these books hard to date precisely. These colophon inserts are on thin paper and most of them probably became separated from the books over the years. I have seen one slip that was actually tipped to the inside back cover. Below is an example of a colophon insert slip.

    Costumes & Customs in Japan, Vol I and II

    Printed: Meiji 28(1895).6.21
    Distributed: Meiji 28(1895).6.25

    Books where there is an author who wrote the descriptive text generally have a Japanese language colophon printed on the inside back cover. Below is an example of this type of colophon.

    Sights and Scenes on The Tokaido

    Meiji 25(1892).5.11

  • Color Wooblock Inserts. Infrequently the larger format books (11 3/4 x 16 in - 30 x 40.5 cm) are found color woodblock inserts giving the title. These measure (12 x 15 3/4 in - 30.5 x 40 cm). They are placed in loose at the front of the volume. Since these inserts are wider than the book, they are folded on the right side 1 1/2 inches to fit under the covers. These inserts are printed on high quality paper. They are double fold with the paper sealed in the middle at the back. They bear a color woodblock image of a cherry tree in bloom. The name of the book is printed at the middle left. The inserts are found with and without the Kelly & Walsh imprint and address (No. 61, Main Street, Yokohama) and the statement "Sole Agents.". I have confirmed these inserts in editions of Japanese Life (Kelly Walsh imprint), and Customs and Costumes, Vol II (No Kelly Walsh imprint). It is my experience that these inserts are seldom found with the book. Below are examples of these inserts.


  • Crepe Paper Books. During the period from 1892~1918 Ogawa published a series of books all titled Illustrations of Japanese Life. There were four different books with the same title. These books were on crepe paper and contained color collotype plates. These books have covers patterned along the same lines as the standard types and views covers found on the non-crepe books. Below is a picture of a cover from one of these crepe paper books.

    For more information on these books, click here.


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