Dobutsu Shashin Sho
(Album of Animal Photographs)

Kazumasa Ogawa (Printed By), 1896
[32 Plates]

Ogawa, Kazumasa (Printed By):
Dobutsu Shashin Sho (Album of Animal Photographs), Osaka, published by Gyokumeikan, printed by K. Ogawa, 12mo (7 1/4 x 5 in - 17.7 x 12.6 cm), 1896 (Meiji 29), horizontal format, red string tied, reads Japanese style from back to front, lithographed paper wraps with halftone photographs (owl in tree and hunter with dog) on the front cover, 32 black and white halftone plates with a total of 60 creatures (27 animals, 32 birds and 1 whale). Only the first plate is protected by a tissue guard. Each plate is printed on a separate page and contains the name of the animal in English and Japanese. No printing on the back of the plates.

While there is no doubt that Kazumasa Ogawa was associated with this book, his precise role is unclear to me. The colophon references the Ogawa, Kazumasa, Photograph Factory. I believe that Ogawa's printing facility produced the illustrations and perhaps the entire book. Whether Ogawa provided the photographs is not known and they do not appear to be the type of work he normally engaged in.

The halftone plates appear to fall into two categories. Some are reproductions which are obviously drawn from photographs of drawings. Others are reproductions which were made from photographs of actual subjects (living or on display). This book was produced at a time when Ogawa was actively engaged in the actual printing of books illustrated with halftone plates, both his own works and the works of others.

Kazumasa Ogawa is best know for his labor intensive collotype printing of photographic images. I believe that the book Ayame-san, A Japanese Romance of the 23rd Year of Meiji (1890) published ca. 1892 was his first significant venture into halftone printing. That book employed a very high quality form of halftone printing (Meisenbach process). For more information on that book, click here.

This book by the faster and less expensive, but lower quality, traditional halftone printing process.

For information on Kazumasa Ogawa, click here.

The 32 Halftone Plates:

  1. Lion
  2. Tiger
  3. Leopard
  4. Horse
  5. Elephant
  6. Fox (with a dead bird in its mouth)
  7. Kangaroo (with joey in pouch)
  8. Ape (looks like a monkey)
  9. Camel
  10. Cow
  11. Wild hog
  12. Dog
  13. Goat, Bear
  14. Cat, Weasel, Otter
  15. Giraffe, Deer
  16. Badger, Sheep
  17. Rat, Wolf, Mole
  18. Pig, Ass
  19. Whale (beached with humans examining)
  20. Crane
  21. Herodias (Heron?), Seagull
  22. Eagle, Cock, Duck
  23. Mamemawashi, Crow, Dove
  24. Owl, Woodchuck, Shrike
  25. Coturnix, Wild Duck, Night Hero
  26. Snipe, House Pigeon, Pheasant - The male
  27. Pheasant - The female, King Fisher
  28. Night Hero, Grebe, Hawk
  29. Bulbul, Wildduck, Cormorant
  30. Buncho, Mandarin Duck, Lark
  31. Snipe Prover, Jay, Iwa Tsumugi
  32. Tapir (skull)

Close-up of the Halftone Printing


Ogawa, Kazumasa - Photograph Factory

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