Celebrated Geysha (Geisha) of Tokyo
9 Plates with 105 Portraits
Kazumasa Ogawa, ca 1895

Ogawa, K. (Kazumasa)
Types of Japan, Celebrated Geysha of Tokyo in Collotype, Tokyo, K. Ogawa Photographer, distributed by Kelly and Walsh as Sole Agents, ca 1895, Folio (11 3/4 x 16 in - 30 x 40.5 cm), decorated card covers, string ties, 9 black and white collotype plates with portraits of Tokyo geisha, 8 plates with 12 portraits each and 1 plate with 9 portraits. The portraits measure approximately 2 inches wide by 3 inches tall. The name and district of each geisha is printed by letterpress in English below each portrait. Additionally, the same information is incorporated in Japanese into the collotype plate. This work is one of Ogawa's most famous works.

Covers. The covers on this book are the standard "types and views" covers found on K. Ogawa's collotype books of this period. On the outside they are lithographed in color with a repeating pattern 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. Approximately 2 1/2 inchs of the head and foot of the spine are covered with a blue cloth fabric.

Dating the Book. As is typical of most of the K. Ogawa "Celebrated Types of Japan" collotype books, there is no title page or colophon for this book to assist in dating. In his Bibliography of the Japanese Empire, 1894-1906, Wenckstern, describes this book as:

Geishas, Celebrated, of Tokio, 105 portraits on 9 plates, collotype edition with silk cover (yen 6.--), edition in photo engraving (yen 1.50)

In the absence of definitive evidence to the contrary, I have placed the date as approximately 1895 based upon the Wenckstern listing. It appears that in addition to a deluxe edition (silk cover) and an economy edition (photo engraved) noted above, there was this version in stiff card wraps (not with a silk cover) and with collotype plates (not photo engraved).

The Ryuounkaku. The Ryounkaku opened in Meiji 23 (1890). In July of 1891 an exhibition of 100 portraits of Geisha was held at the newly opened Ryounkaku. Ogawa produced albumen photographs for that event. It is very likely that some of these images were exhibited as colored albumen prints at this exhibition. Visitors at the exhibit voted on the most popular geisha. The winner of the vote was "O-Tama" from the Tamagawaya geisha house in Shinbashi.

Other K. Ogawa Geisha Related Books. Three other K. Ogawa books (perhaps more) were subsequently published on the topic of Geishas. Celebrated Geishas of Tokyo, ca 1892, contained 12 collotype plates with one geisha per plate. Geishas of Osaka and Kyoto, ca 1895 contained collotype plates. Geisha of Tokyo, Hyaku Bijin - Japanese title: [Tokyo Hayaku Bijin] (One Hundred Beauties of Tokyo), 1902 contained collotype plates, probably most were two per page with the Geisha's name in English and Japanese. These later books were also produced in much less expensive half-tone printing versions.

For information on Kazumasa Ogawa, click here.

 

All 9 Plates in This Book
(Click on the picture for a higher relolution image)

Plate 1.

 
Plate 2.

 
Plate 3.

 
Plate 4.

 
Plate 5.

 
Plate 6.

 
Plate 7.

 
Plate 8.

 
Plate 9.

 
Geisha (Name & District) Depicted on the 9 Plates
(Links are to images of same Geisha found in the 12 plate book)

    Plate 1

  1. Kotoji of Shinbashi
  2. Momotaro of Shinbashi
  3. Azuma of Shinbashi
  4. Wakaroku of Shinbashi
  5. Kinshi of Shinbashi
  6. Haruko of Shinbashi
  7. Shimekichi of Shinbashi
  8. Kofuyu of Shinbashi
  9. Koichi of Shinbashi
  10. Kotatsu of Shinbashi
  11. Mameko of Shinbashi
  12. Aiko of Shinbashi

    Plate 2

  13. Tamiji of Shinbashi
  14. Momoko of Shinbashi
  15. Kotoyo of Shinbashi
  16. Kotsuma of Shinbashi
  17. Yachiyoko of Shinbashi
  18. Tonko of Shinbashi
  19. Tamakiku of Shinbashi
  20. Okaji of Shinbashi
  21. Kocho of Shinbashi
  22. Kotaka of Shinbashi
  23. Tomomatsu of Shinbashi
  24. Tatsuko of Shinbashi

    Plate 3

  25. Kofuyu of Yoshicho
  26. Hamako of Shinbashi
  27. Omachi of Nihonbashi
  28. Hanakichi of Yanakibashi
  29. Otowa of Nihonbashi
  30. Omaru of Shinbashi
  31. Kikurio of Shinbashi
  32. Yakko of Yoshicho
  33. Kofumi of Shinbashi
  34. Tamaye of Nihonbashi
  35. Koyei of Yanakibashi
  36. Manssai of Shinbashi

    Plate 4

  37. Koroku of Shinbashi
  38. Kohana of Nihonbashi
  39. Osuzu of Shinbashi
  40. Kotsuru of Yanagibashi
  41. Koteru of Nihonbashi
  42. Kokame of Nihonbashi
  43. Sanko of Yoshicho
  44. Kinshi of Yoshicho
  45. Shigematsu of Yoshicho
  46. Komura of Shinbashi
  47. Kikuka of Shinbashi
  48. Oshun of Yoshicho

    Plate 5

  49. Kofusa of Shinbashi
  50. Tamako of Yanagibashi
  51. Koteru of Yoshicho
  52. Okin of Yoshiwara
  53. Otatsu of Yoshiwara
  54. Hanaji of Yoshiwara
  55. Kameko of Yoshiwara
  56. Omitsu of Yoshiwara
  57. Oshiju of Shitaya
  58. Momotaro of Kobusho
  59. Tsurumatsu of Shitaya
  60. Komaru of Kobnsho

    Plate 6

  61. Tsumako of Shinbashi
  62. Koyakko of Shinbashi
  63. Oyen of Shinbashi
  64. Katsuji of Shinbashi
  65. Kosei of Nihonbashi
  66. Tamaye of Shinbashi
  67. Yamato of Shinbashi
  68. Tokumatsu of Shinbashi
  69. Kinnosuke of Shinbashi
  70. Ariko of Shinbashi
  71. Osoyo of Shinbashi
  72. Ochiyo of Shinbashi

    Plate 7

  73. Kinsuke of Yanagibashi
  74. Fukusuke of Nihonbashi
  75. Komume of Asakusa
  76. Okiyo of Asakusa
  77. Oriu of Yanagibashi
  78. Kotake of Yanagibishi
  79. Kochiyo of Shitaya
  80. Fukusuke of Shitaya
  81. Okaru of Yanagibashi
  82. Kioto of Yanagibashi
  83. Koman of Shinbashi
  84. Fukuju of Shitaya

    Plate 8

  85. Yayeji of Shinbashi
  86. Kouta of Nihonbashi
  87. Kinpachi of Yanagibashi
  88. Kichiya of Shinbashi
  89. Kimiyo of Shinbashi
  90. Koyakko of Yoshicho
  91. Shimeko of Yoshicho
  92. Teiko of Yanagibashi
  93. Kokiku of Yoshicho
  94. Kokane of Yanagibashi
  95. Otama of Yanagibashi
  96. Kotsume of Yanagibashi

    Plate 9

  97. Adakichi of Akasaka
  98. Koshizu of Yoshiwara
  99. Koyuki of Shinbashi
  100. Nobushin of Yoshiwara
  101. Oshin of Nihonbashi
  102. Oine of Shitaya
  103. Onao of Yoshiwara
  104. Omine of Akasaka
  105. Kohana of Akasaka

Comparision of Portraits (9 Plate Book - This Book)
with the Same Geisha in the 12 Plate Book.

Momotaro of Shinbashi

Kotoyo of Shinbashi

Momotaro of Shinbashi

Kotoyo of Shinbashi

Tamagiku of Shinbashi
Not in 9 Plate Book

Azuma of Shinbashi

Tamagiku of Shinbashi

Azuma of Shinbashi

Kotsuru of Yanagibashi

Kosei of Nihonbashi

Kotsuru of Yanagibashi

Kosei of Nihonbashi

Osuzu of Shinbashi

San-ko of Yoshicho

Osuzu of Shinbashi

San-ko of Yoshicho

Momoko of Shinbashi

Tonko of Shinbashi

Momoko of Shinbashi

Tonko of Shinbashi

Eriko of Shinbashi
Not in this book.

Tsuma-ko of Shinbashi

Eriko of Shinbashi

Tsuma-ko of Shinbashi

Close-up from this 9 Plate Book
Close-up from the 12 Plate Book

 

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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