~~Book Set 1895090117 ~~

Japanese Costume Before the Restoration
and
Military Costumes in Old Japan

       

 
Click on the above pictures to see the front and back covers of both books.

 
Condition. Both books are in Very Good+ condition. They are in as published state with the seldom seen original ribbon ties. The covers have light to moderate soiling and they have rubbed area with small breaks or chips. The back cover of Military Costumes has the outside bottom corner tip broken off. The books are absolutely complete. Internally there is not foxing, staining or marking. I rate the 32 (17 + 15) plates to be in Fine condition. There is a small bookseller's label on the back of the last plate in each book. There is a colophon (Meiji 28 - 1895) tipped in at the rear of Military Costumes. This is a very clean and well preserved set of these two books.

 

Ogawa, K. (Kazumasa)
Japanese Costume Before the Restoration, Photographed by K. Ogawa, Under Direction of Ko-yu-kai (Tokyo Fine Art School), Tokyo, K. Ogawa, 1895 (Meiji 28), Folio (10 1/2 x 14 in - 26.5 x 35 cm), illustrated card covers, bound at three points, 1893 by C. B. Woodward, St Louis, "manufactured" by National Chemigraph Co., St Louis, 1 page preface, 17 black and white halftone ("Chemigraph") plates. Each plate with a single image, a descriptive title and a paragraph of information. The plates reproduce Kazumasa Ogawa photographs of Japanese dress from the Tempei period (620-808), the Fujiwara period (880-1150) and the Ashikaga period (1350-1550). The very high quality halftone images are printed on glossy medium thickness paper. The image areas vary but generally are 6 x 8 inches. At the lower right of each image an inscription reads "Chemigraph, patented March 21, 1893."

Ogawa, K. (Kazumasa)
Military Costumes in Old Japan, Photographed by K. Ogawa, Under the Direction of Chitora Kawasaki of Ko-yu-kai (Tokyo Fine Art School), Tokyo, K. Ogawa, 1895 (Meiji 28), large 4to (10 1/2 x 14 in - 26.5 x 35 cm), card covers with front cover illustrated, bound at three points, 1893 by C. B. Woodward, St Louis, "manufactured" by National Chemigraph Co., St Louis, 2 page preface, 15 black and white halftone ("Chemigraph") plates. Each plate with a single image and descriptive title and a paragraph of information. The plates reproduce Kazumasa Ogawa photographs of military wear and equipment, actually being worn and carried, from the Fujiwara epoch (10th - 12th centuries) through the Ashikaga epoch (15th - 16th centuries). The very high quality halftone images are printed on glossy medium thickness paper. The image areas vary but generally are 6 x 8 inches.

Date of Publication. Wenckstern lists the date of publication for these books as 1894. You often see them listed with the date of 1893, the stated copyright date. I have placed the date of publication as 1895 because I have examined a copy of Military Costume in Old Japan, with a tipped in K. Ogawa colophon showing printing and distribution dates in June of Meiji 28 (1895). I believe these book, or the contents, was printed in St. Louis in 1893. They were probably then shipped to Japan where the Ogawa enterprises (K. Ogawa, Ogawa Shashin Seihanjo and Ogawa Shuppanbu) assembled them, sometimes adding Japanese language colophon slips and began marketing them in mid-1895.

Covers. The front covers have a subdued pale green and white lithograph design featuring flowers and leaves (Japanese Costumes) and Japanese armor (Military Costumes). Within two framed areas are halftone images of children performing the butterfly dance (Japanese Costumes) and an armored samurai with bow and arrow drawn (Japanese Costumes). The covers are a thick card stock. The right side of the front cover is attached to a flexible cloth (linen) type strip which allows the front cover to be opened without bending the actual cover. This is not the case with the back cover.

Bindings. These books are bound with decorative ribbon ties. However, they are seldom found with the ties in place. Quite often the books are offered with brads in the holes, recent cloth or string ties or in a rebound state in hardcovers. Here are my observations regarding the way in which the book was originally bound.

  • Punched Holes. There are three punched holes on the left hand side of the covers and pages. The first and last are 7 1/4 inches apart with the middle hole centered between them.

  • Binding Method. Below is an picture of these books (Military Costumes and Japanese Costumes) with the original ribbon tie.

    The blue/green cotton fabric type ribbon tie measures 12 mm across. The ribbon wraps around the spine at the top and bottom and is then stretched vertically on the front between the top and bottom holes. The two ends of the ribbon are brought through the middle hole from the back and tied in a bow/knot on the front using the vertically stretched ribbon as an anchor or tying point. Because it is rather flimsy, the ribbon tie is seldom found on books. The ribbon tie is decorative in nature and not essential to actually holding the books together. Rebinding is the norm for these books and they are often found rebound into one book.

"Chemigraph" Illustrations. The illustrations in the book are reproduced by a process which was trademarked as "Chemigraph." They are high quality halftone prints. When viewed under x10 magnification you see a very distinct screen pattern in dark areas of the image. As the image turns lighter, the screen pattern is not visible and the image is created a by pattern of black and gray dots. This process creates an image with a greater range of tones than one normally associates with halftone images. I have seen these plates described as collotypes. To the unaided eye the quality and range of tones does appear very close to that of a collotype print. However, under magnification, it is clear that a halftone process has been used. A close-up of the pattern is shown below.

Ogawa in the United States in 1893. Kazumasa Ogawa attended the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. He was constantly seeking the state of the art in printing to incorporate into his business in Japan. It appears that during this visit to the United States he arranged for the C. B. Woodward company to produce this book and the companion book. I do not believe he adopted the "chemigraph" halftone process for use in Japan. I find no reference to it in his publications. Further, I have not seen similar halftone reproductions in his books. He did employ a very fine halftone process as early as 1892. This was the meisenbach process and probably superior to the "chemigraph" process in the final output.

For information on Kazumasa Ogawa and his books, click here.

 

Japanese Costume Before the Restoration

 
Title Page

 
To see the Preface, click here.
To see the Copyright notice, click here.

 

All 17 Plates in This Book
Titles are those Printed with the Plate

A Court Costume

 
Two Sculptors of the Tempei Period

 
The Bugaku

 
A Later Form of the Bugaku

 
A High Vassal of the Fujiwara Period

 
A Nobleman of the Fujiwara Period

 
A Court Lady of the Fujiwara Period

 
A Hunting Costume of the Kamakura Period

 
A Female Dancer of the Kamakura Period

 
A Feudal Lord of the Ashikaga Period

 
A Priest of the Zen Sect Preaching

 
The No

 
A Youth of the Early Tokugawa Period

 
A Samurai of the Tokugawa Epoch

 
The Kamioki

 
The Kesobumi-uri (vendor of Love-Letters)

 
Two Ladies

 
 
Close-up Showing ("Chemigraph) Halftone Composition

 
No colophon tipped into this book.

 

 

Military Costumes in Old Japan

 

 
Title Page

 
To see the Preface, click here.
To see the Copyright notice, click here.

All 15 Plates in This Book
Titles are those Printed with the Plate

A General of the Fujiwara Epoch

 
One of the Bodyguard

 
A Foot Soldier

 
A Youthful Noble

 
A Knight of the Kamakura Period

 
A Young Warrior

 
A Fighting Monk

 
A Female Warrior

 
Warrior of the Nanhoku-cho Period

 
A Flag Bearer

 
Knight of Nanhoku-cho Period

 
A Chugen

 
Warrior of the Ashikaga Period

 
On the Alert

 
Warrior with Shield

 
 
Close-up Showing ("Chemigraph) Halftone Composition

 
Colophon (tipped onto back cover)

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

 



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