Sights and Scenes
on The Tokaido


"Old Darby and Joan"


20 Plates with 44 Images
Kazumasa Ogawa, 1892

Ogawa, K. (Kazumasa)
Sights and Scenes on the Tokaido, By K. Ogawa, Photographer, Tokyo, in Collotype, With Descriptive Text by James Murdoch, M.A., Tokyo, K. Ogawa, 1892 (Meiji 25), Folio (11 3/4 x 16 in - 30 x 40.5 cm), decorated card covers, string ties, spine covered with cloth, 1 page preface, 4 pages 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. This is one of the few books of this type with a colophon and, thereby, a precise date of publication.

In a page before the introduction, Ogawa states:

I have to acknowledge my indebtedness to Messrs. Kimbei and Farsari for several of the plates in this Volume, and to Professor Burton for one. K. Ogawa.
Unfortunately, Ogawa does not attribute any of the 40 individual images in this work to a specific photographer.

The four page introduction traces the historic Tokaido (Road of the Eastern Sea) which starts in Tokyo and follows the Pacific coast for 320 miles where it joins the Nakasendo (Central Mountain Road) at Kusatsu.

A comprehensive discussion of the Tokaido is found in Anna C. Hartshorne's 1902 book, Japan and Her People Volume 2, Chapter IV, pages 64-89. She illustrates this chapter with the image in the upper right of plate XVI shown below ("Peasants" - a family carrying children). She states that the Tokaido starts at the Sanjo-bashi (Third Street Bridge) in Kyoto and ends at Nihonbashi in Yedo (Tokyo). She described the road in these terms:

... there is no lovelier scenery in the empire, and none in the world, perhaps, so infinitely varied, so crowded with picturesque life, with alternations of mountains and coast and richly cultivated plain. (Page 65, volume 2).

Hartshorne's account also includes an extensive discussion of the life of the peasants who lived and worked along the Tokaido. The map at the end of volume 2 of her book traces the Tokaido as well as other major roads in Japan.

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 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. Approximately 2 1/2 inches of the head and foot of the spine are covered with a blue cloth fabric.

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


All 20 Plates in This Book
Descriptions are Mine Except Quotes Drawn from Text

Plate I.

The Nihonbashi "of to-day" (a Tokyo street scene ca. 1890).

Plate II.

"The old Darby and Joan, looking out so pathetically over

Plate III.

Marriage ceremony, soldiers/military costume, two scenes of "hara-kiri or seppuku" (Forty-Seven Ronins).

Plate IV.

Springhill Temple well where the head was washed (Forty-Seven Ronins). The wooden sign says "This is the well in which the head was washed; you must not wash you hands or your feet here."

Plate V.

Nearby the Springhill Temple, the tomb of Oishi Kuranosuku, "...the leader the band that died so gallantly and ungrudgingly to avenge their lord."

Plate VI.

"Past the railway bridge at Shinagawa we find ourselves in a long rambling
street mainly of two-storied building...." "These houses harbour ... geisha
(singing girls) and the like."

Plate VII.

"Place of publick Executions" just before Sinagawa.

Plate VIII.

Farm/household labors (rice harvesting, pounding rice & spinning yarn).

Plate IX.

Commercial activities: sandal shop, shoe maker, carpenter, basket seller.

Plate X.

Toll house on the Rokugo Bridge spanning the Tamagawa.

Plate XI.

Jinrikisha, small boats, pilgrims, bean curd (tofu) seller.

Plate XII.

Temple of Daishi Sama about a quarter of an hour from the Rokugo Bridge.

Plate XIII.

A scene within the grounds of the Daishi Temple at Kawasaki.

Plate XIV.

A funeral procession "...on its way to the grave-yard of the Temple of Nichiren... on Ikegami bluff."
I have seen this image attributed to Kusakabe Kimbei

Plate XV.

Priests. Right top and left bottom pics are "Kannushi or Shinto priests."
"These are about 64,000 in the country." The other two ("shaven priests")
are Buddhist priests. "In all there are about 92,000 of these Buddhists
priests in the Empire."

Plate XVI.

Family Party returning from market, school children, jinrikisha, ox cart.

Plate XVII.

"'Child tied a 'baby' or 'a tot knotted to a totter'," Japanese women,
samisen and kokiu (Japanese violin).

Plate XVIII.

A view "a mile beyond Tsurumi station" where the Tokaido runs near the ocean again and adjacent to a railroad track. Here the "Richardson's party" tragedy is commemorated by a stone marker. In 1862 Richardson tried to "break through the train." For this he was executed on the spot and others in his party were injured.

John R. Black in his book, Young Japan, Yokohama and Yedo, A Narrative of the Settlement and the City, from the Signing of the Treaties in 1858 to the Close of the Year 1879, With A Glance at the Progress of Japan During Period of Twenty-One Years (1880-1), describes the Richardson incident and the aftermath at pages 124-144. According to Black's account, the Richardson party was riding horseback from Kanagawa to Kawasaki on Sunday, September 14, 1862. They came upon "norimons and attendants formed in a continuous but irregular train broken at intervals." (at page 124) The Richardson party continued forward into this train and they were attacked and Richardson was mortally wounded. Black also presents a Satsuma version of the incident. According to that account, Richardson recklessly rode through the "train" and when his actions actually endangered one of the norimons (larger size kago) on the road the accompanying guards acted in self-defense.

Plate XIX.

An artificial lake and garden behind a resting place (tea house) in Kanagawa.

Plate XX.

Three "oshaku, (dancing girls)" entertain the tea house visitors. "Gieisha (singing girls)" entertain the tea house customers also but are not pictured.


Meiji 25 (1892).5.11


Completely covered in fabric.


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

      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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