Scenes from Open Air Life in Japan.
Photographed by W.K. Burton.
Plates by K. Ogawa.
Text by J. Murdoch.

ca 1893

 

Ogawa, K. (Kazumasa) (Plates)
Burton, W.K. (Photographs)
Murdoch, J. (Text)
Scenes from Open Air Life in Japan. Photographed by W. K. Burton. Plates by K. Ogawa. Text by J. Murdoch., Tokyo, ca 1893, large 4to (11 x 15 1/2 in - 28.2 x 39 cm), illustrated (in color) stiff covers, with silk covered spine, two multi-color silk ties (blue, red and white) which each pass through four holes, gold illustrations inside the front and back covers, introduction (1 unnumbered page), 18 number pages of letterpress text, 14 black and white collotype plates with descriptive captions printed below the image. Each plate is preceded by a tissue guard with the plate number. The plates are organized into topics with each topic containing 1-3 plates. For each topic there is a 1-2 page text section by J. Murdoch. The book does not contain a colophon or title page.

The last photograph (plate 14) contains an image of the Ryounkaku in the background. This building was design by W.K. Burton. The Ryounkaku is considered to be the first Japanese sky scraper. This 12 story, 220 foot tall, building in Asakusa was the tallest building in Tokyo at the time it opened in 1890. The Ryounkaku was badly damaged in the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923 and demolished that same year.

Dating the book. This book is listed in the library (catalogued July 31, 1893) of The Japan Society, London under this entry:

Burton (W.K.) and Ogawa (K.)
Scenes from Open Air Life in Japan. Photographed by W.K. Burton, Plates printed by K. Ogawa. Text by J. Murdoch. 14 Photographic Plates, 18 pp. text, Japanese paper and illustrated coloured covers, oblong fo., Yokohama, (no date). Presented by W.K. Burton. [Transactions and Proceedings of The Japan Society, London, Volume 1, 1893]

It is also dated to 1893 by Wenckstern with the following entry:

Chapter XVII: Ethnography -- Section a. General and Miscellaneous Works, ETC

Burton, W.K. - Scenes from open air life in Japan, 14 phototypes executed by K. Ogawa, with text by J. Murdoch, 18pp. text, oblong folio, Yokohama, 1893. ($3.50).

Scarce Book. The book is seldom seen. While many libraries list an entry for the book, the vast majority of these entries point to a copy on microfilm (History of Photography. Monographs; Reel 26, No. 227, 1981-2). A search of the WorldCat in July of 2008 listed the book in 29 libraries. However, only 6 of these were in the book (versus microfilm) format.

In a publisher's advertisement in Journeys Among the Gentle Japs in the Summer (here) by J.LL. Thomas, 1897, the publishing house of Sampson Low, Marston & Company listed this book ("OGAWA, Open-Air Life in Japan, 15s. nett") as part of it's stock.

For information on Kazumasa Ogawa, click here.

 
Gold Illustrations (Inside Front & Back Covers)

 
Introduction

 
Example Text Page (Plate 1)

 

Plates (all 14)

Uyeno Park - Country-cousins on a visit to the capital Uyeno Park. A Picnic under the cherry-blossoms A cherry-blossom avenue in Tokyo Old women peddlars out to seen the Cherry-blossoms The Japanese Carnival at Mukojima The Japanese Bullock-Cart Megane-bashi--Looking for a Fare Holiday Making at Asakusa--Making up the fare for Kurumaya Children playing about a well Children playing around the well Asakusa-A Komori (Girl-nurse) Hucksters by the foot-path on Ginza Booths in the Courtyard of the Temple of Kwannon of Asakusa The Shows of Asakusa

 
Close-up of Collotype Image

 

 
Close-up of Flying Goddess on Front Cover

 
Listing of Plates (as captioned on the collotype plate)

  1. Uyeno Park - Country-cousins on a visit to the capital
  2. Uyeno Park. A Picnic under the cherry-blossoms
  3. A cherry-blossom avenue in Tokyo
  4. Old women peddlars out to seen the Cherry-blossoms
  5. The Japanese Carnival at Mukojima
  6. The Japanese Bullock-Cart
  7. Megane-bashi--Looking for a Fare
  8. Holiday Making at Asakusa--Making up the fare for Kurumaya
  9. Children playing about a well
  10. Children playing around the well
  11. Asakusa-A Komori (Girl-nurse)
  12. Hucksters by the foot-path on Ginza
  13. Booths in the Courtyard of the Temple of Kwannon of Asakusa
  14. The Shows of Asakusa

 



W.K. Burton

Anthony's Photographic Bulletin,
Volume XXVII, 1896

William Kinninmond Burton (1856-1899), a Scottish engineer, arrived in Japan in 1887 and immediately became a Professor of Sanitary Engineering at Imperial University of Japan, Tokyo. He helped design the water and sewage systems that would take Tokyo and other Japanese cities into the 20th century. He designed the Ryounkaku which is considered to be the first Japanese sky scraper. This 12 story, 220 foot tall, building in Asakusa was the tallest building in Tokyo at the time it opened in 1890. Burton was an avid photographer and noted expert in the technical aspects of photography. He published several technical works on photography. Burton had a close association with Kazumasa Ogawa, the noted Japanese photographer and collotype printer. Along with Kazumasa Ogawa, Burton was a founding member of the Japan Photographic Society (Nihon Shashinkai), Japan's first organization for amateur photographers. Burton left Japan in 1896 and went to Taiwan but returned in 1899 where he died at the age of 43.

Works authored by Burton or with his photographs include:

  • 1892, K. Ogawa, Kusakabe Kimbei, W. K. Burton & James Murdoch,The Hakone District, Illustrated by K. Ogawa, Photographer, in Collotype With Descriptive Text by James Murdoch, M.A., Tokyo, K. Ogawa, Meiji 25 (1892), folio (12 x 16 in - 30.2 x 40.5 cm), decorated card covers, spine covered with cloth, string ties, 1 map in color (chromolithograph), 17 collotype plates with a total of 26 different images. Three plates have 4 images and 14 plates have a single image. For more information on this book, click here.

  • 1892, Sights and Scenes on the Tokaido, Tokyo, K. Ogawa, Folio, 1 page preface, 4 pages of introduction, 20 black and white collotype plates, 22 pages of descriptive text, total of 47 pp. The 20 black and white collotype plates contain a total of 44 images. Twelve plates have a single image and 8 plates have 4 images each. Each page is protected by a tissue guard giving the plate number. There is no descriptive text on the plate or tissue guard. The images are based upon photographs by Kazumasa Ogawa, Kusakabe Kimbei, Adolfo Farsari and William K. Burton. Each plate is preceded by a one to two page description of the significance of the image that follows. Contains a colophon dating the book to Meiji 25 (1892). Also sold in painted wooden box. For more information on this book, click here.

  • ca 1892, J. Murdoch (A.M.) and W. K. Burton, Ayame-san, A Japanese Romance of the 23rd Year of Meiji (1890), Yokohama, Kelly & Walsh, London, Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd and London, Walter Scott, 8vo (6 x 9 in), cardboard covers with paste on paper illustrated paper, cloth covered spine, photographs taken primarily by Kazumasa Ogawa and W. K. Burton, 77 text illustrations, 3 of which are full page, 2 pp errata, 310 pp. Some sold in a wooden box. For more information on this book, click here

  • ca 1892, John Milne and W.K. Burton, The Volcanoes of Japan, Part 1, Fujisan, Yokohama, Kelly & Walsh, Yokohama, Shanghai, Hongkong and Singapore, printed at the Tokyo Tsukiji Type Foundry, collotypes by K. Ogawa, horizontal large 4to (11 1/4 x 15 1/2 in - 28.8 x 39.5 cm), undated but ca 1892, no colophon, pale green card covers, staple bound with spine uncovered, 10 tissue guard protected black and white collotype plates, 32 pp. For more information on this book, click here.

  • ca 1892, W. K. Burton and John Milne, The Great Earthquake of Japan, 1891, Yokohama, Lane, Crawford & Co., printed at the Tokyo Tsukiji Type Foundry, 1st edition, green cloth with gilt lettering, oblong 4to (29 x 41 cm), green cloth with gilt, 30 black and white K. Ogawa plates and a lithographic map, plates protected tissue guards with descriptive titles, 71 pages indicated in the table of contents.

  • ca 1893, W. K. Burton and John Milne, The Great Earthquake of Japan, 1891, Yokohama, Lane, Crawford & Co., printed at the Tokyo Tsukiji Type Foundry, 2nd edition, green cloth with gilt lettering, oblong 4to (29 x 41 cm), green cloth with gilt, 29 black and white K. Ogawa plates and a lithographic map, plates protected tissue guards with descriptive titles, 70 pp. For more information on this book, click here.

  • ca 1893, W. K. Burton (photographs), J. Murdoch (text), K. Ogawa (plates), Scenes from Open Air Life in Japan, Photographed by W. K. Burton, Plates by K. Ogawa, Text by J. Murdoch, large 4to (11 x 15 1/2 in - 28.2 x 39 cm), color woodblock illustrated stiff covers with silk covered spine, two multi-color silk ties (blue, red and white) which each pass through four holes, gold illustrations inside the front and back covers, introduction (1 unnumbered page), 18 number pages of letterpress text, 14 black and white collotype plates with descriptive captions printed below the image. Undated but listed in the library (catalogued July 31, 1893) of the Japan Society, London, Transactions and Proceedings, Volume I, 1893. Also dated to 1893 by Wenckstern. For more information on this book, click here.

  • ca 1893, J. Murdoch and W.K. Burton, Out-Door Life in Japan, Yokohama, photographs by W.K. Burton, text by J. Murdoch, printed by K. Ogawa, 8vo, 2 photographs per page, 25 pp. Undated but listed in the library (catalogued July 31, 1893) of the Japan Society, London, Transactions and Proceedings, Volume I, 1893.

  • 1895, W. K. Burton, Wrestlers and Wrestling in Japan with an Historical and Descriptive Account by J. Inouye, 1895, 4to, 12 collotype plates by K. Ogawa, 18 pp. Reported with black and white collotypes and with colored collotypes.

  • 1892, W. K. Burton, Practical Guide to Photographic and Photo-Mechanical Printing. Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged, London, Marion & Co, printed by R.R. Clark, Edinburgh, large 12mo, red cloth with black decoration and lettering on front cover and spine, numerous text illustrations, 415 pp + 46 pp of illustrated ads for Marion & Co products. An important handbook including an historical sketch of photographic printing processes and photo-mechanical printing processes. The book contains extensive and technical sections on silver printing, platinotype process, printing with salts of uranium, contact printing, mounting of prints, carbon processes, a wide variety of modern photo-mechanical printing processes (Woodbury, Stannotype, photo-lithography, collotype process, halftone processes). The book offers an important insight into the types of printing work being performed in Japan by K. Ogawa at this point in time. When living in England, W. K. Burton was also the author of an earlier publication on photography, The A.B.C. of (Modern) Photography, London, Piper & Carter, 4th edition, 1884, a 124 page booklet which is described as "a manual of photography for beginners on the assumption that the gelatine process is now the process of the day." In an edition of this book published ca 1887 Burton, comments on the gallery of A. Farsari and Co. in Yokohama and the colorization of photographs done in there. For more information on the 1892 guide, click here.

 
 
A Bibliography of the Japanese Empire, Being a Classified List of all Books, Essays and Maps in European languages relating to Dai Nihon [Great Japan], Published in Europe, American and in the East from 1859-93 A.D. [VIth year of Ansei -- XXVIth of Meiji] compiled by Fr. Von Wenckstern To which is added a facsimile-reprint of: Leon Pages, Bibliographie Japonaise depuis le XVe siecle jusqua 1859. (1895)



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