Keisuke Serizawa
Kataezome Calendar Folios

Keisuke Serizawa produced kataezome calendar folios starting with calendar year 1946. The 1946 calendar is shown in the catalogue for the 2001 exhibition of Serizawa's work held in Scotland.

These calendar sets (one page for each month) are stenciled on handmade untrimmed Japanese mulberry paper. The page size is generally 28.6 x 37.2 cm - 11 1/4 x 14 1/2 in. They usually contained in a mulberry paper sack or thick cardboard (also mulberry paper) folding case. On the front of the sack or folding case is pasted on a illustrated stenciled label with the year of the calendar. These labels are rectangular. In addition to illustrations, they contain the year and the word "Calendar" (spelled correctly).

For an undetermined number of years (1959 confirmed) Serizawa produced small kataezome desktop calendar sets on trimmed mulberry paper. These measure 9.1 x 14.1 cm (3 5/8 x 5 1/2). The covers (front and back) are medium thickness card stock while the internal 12 month pages/prints are trimmed mulberry paper. The ink from the kataezome process bleeds through the paper and can be seen on the back of each print/month. There are two loop ties at the top and each print has 2 corresponding rectangular openings so the pages can be folded back to display the next page. The back cover has an extension with a tab that can be used to close the calendar by inserting the tab into slits on the front cover or make a standing calendar by folding back the front cover and inserting the tab in the same slits. I have seen similar desktop type calendars which were not handmade using the kataeaome technique. These were produced by photo-mechanical printing processes. To see pics of the 1959 desktop type calendar here.

I believe that K. Serizawa calendars can be distinguished from other similar calendar folios by Japanese characters within a hexagonal design found on the label on the sack or folding case (see "Serizawa Marks" below). However, the absence of such a mark does not mean a calendar folio was not produced by Serizawa. In some instances it is possible to attribute a calendar folio to Serizawa by notes on the sack or folding case or through inserts placed loose inside the folio. I have not identified the Serizawa mark on any individual calendar.

Serizawa calendars and other items are available for purchase and are listed below.

Serizawa Marks (Examples)
   
Found on Paste On Label on Sack or Folding Case
and Occasionally on Individual Calendars

The seal (han) below is found on art on paper (not calendars however) attributed to K. Serizawa.

The Japanese characters below are frequently found on textile art (not calendars) produced by Serizawa. I believe this is "Serizawa" reading the characters from right to left.

 
Here are some common characteristics I have observed regarding the Serizawa calendar folios:

  • Serizawa mark appears on the sack/folding case paste-on.
  • "C" in the word calendar is often (not always however) very large in relation to the rest of the letters (ie x5 larger).
  • Individual calendar size: Generally - 28.6 x 37.2 cm - 11 1/4 x 14 1/2 in. The 1956 calendar is an exception.
  • Sack or folding case size: Generally - 29.9 x 38.8 cm - 11 3/4 x 15 1/4 in. The 1956 calendar is an exception.
  • Year appears only on the January calendar (appears not to be the case with the 1946 calendar which has no year on any of the calendar pages).
  • Month appears in English on all calendars and almost always is stated in Japanese numbers incorporated into the design.

 
Confirmed Serizawa Calendar Folios

 
1946
See item 98, Serizawa, Master of Japanese Textile Design (See Below)
Size reported as 37.2 x 27.6, published in 1945
Sack or Folding Case, if any, not shown)

1952

1956 (Type I)

Regular size, longer on horizontal axis
(11 1/4 x 14 1/2 in - 28.5 x 37.5 cm)

1956 (Type II - Rectangular)

Rectangular but longer on the horizontal axis
(15 1/8 x 14 1/4 in - 28.5 x 37.1 cm)

1957

1958 (Type I)

1958 (Type II)

1960

No Serizawa mark but sometimes accompanied by note.

1960 - "Yanase Auto Tokyo"

No Serizawa mark but accompanied by note.

1961

1961 - "Shinwa Trading Co. LTD, Tokyo & Osaka"

1962

1963

No Serizawa mark but sack/folding case
sometimes has this label.

1964

No Serizawa mark but
believed to be Serizawa

1965

1966

No Serizawa mark but
believed to be Serizawa

1967

1968

"K.S" and Serizawa Mark on Folder
Serizawa mark found on January and July calendars

1969

1970 (different color cover paste-ons)

No Serizawa mark but sometimes accompanied by note.

1971

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1979 (Probably Serizawa)

Sometimes accompanied by Takumi Craft Shop
brochure referring to Serizawa.

1980

1981

1982 (Probably Serizawa)

1983 (Probably Serizawa)

1984

"Serizawa

Keisuke Serizawa Died in April of 1984.
His Studio Continued to Publish Colanders.

1986 (Probably Serizawa Studio)

1987 (Probably Serizawa Studio)

Serizawa note insert found in some folios

1988 (Serizawa Studio)

 

 
Source Not Confirmed

 
1959

Reported to be Serizawa

1961

1963

1964

1966

1967

1971

1976

1977

1978

 

Source Confirmed but Not Serizawa

 
1958 - M. Takayama

1973 - Wazome Kogei Co, Kyoto

 
Matching/Repeating Calendars. Sometimes customers are looking for a calendar for a specific year. If a calendar for that exact year is not available, they my want to obtain one that matches/repeats the sequence found in that calendar.

Except for leap years, calendars repeat every 6 or 11 years. Leap year calendars repeat every 28 years. A repeating/matching calendar is one where the first of January starts on the same weekday. For example, the calendar for 1957 is repeated in 1963, 1974, 1985, 1991, 2002, 2013 and 2019 calendars. Except for the year, they are all the same. For a chart showing matching years from 1946 to 1984, click here.

This is general information and not specific to Serizawa calendars. All Serizawa calendars are unique. Even when they repeat the day sequence found in earlier or later calendars, the illustrations are always different.

 
 

 

Keisuke Serizawa (1895-1984)

In 1956 Serizawa was designated by the Government of Japan as a "Living National Treasure" (intangible cultural asset) for his "Mingei" (folk art) work using hand-stenciled dyeing (katazome) techniques. Serizawa visited Okinawa several times and learned the famed Ryukyu bingata method of stencil dyeing. His first visit was in 1938 where he studied bingata techniques under Katatsue-ya in Naha. He carried this traditional technique into his folk art work. Okinawan designs are frequently seen in his work. In addition, Serizawa merged Chinese floral dyeing methods and South Pacific batik methods into his work. Serizawa's works cover an wide field. His designs were reproduced for use as book cover illustrations, and newspaper and magazine illustrations. His folk art applications included kimono and obi cloth, paper prints, wall hangings/scrolls, folding screens, curtains, fans, shochibubai (pine, bamboo and plum blossoms hangings considered to bring good luck) and calendars. A unique feature of his work has been described in these terms:

The distinguishing trait of Serizawa's katazome method is the use of the starch mixture to create, not a colored area as is current in direct-dyeing process, but a blank, undyed one that forms a part of the pattern and that can later be colored by hand in multi-color or monochrome as the designer sees fit. Keisuke Serizawa, the Stencil Artist, Volume 1, 1967

It is my understanding that the stencil dyeing procedures are:

  • Using a stencil, areas to be left uncolored are covered with a dye resistant starch paste (nori tsuke).
  • Colors are then applied by dipping or brushing, generally from lighter to darker colors. Serizawa generally used traditional vegetable dyes and seldom used chemical dyes.
  • After these colors have dried, the key design (key stencil) is used to apply the main design (iro sashi).
  • The paste is washed off (mizu ari) and the material dried in the sun (harika).

A brochure describing the stencil-dyed paper process published by the Takumi Craft Show, Tokyo, is here.

An interesting aspect of this process is the use of every day items. For example, the dye resistant paste was generally made from boiled rice (combined with lime). The inks (generally vegetable dyes), particularly black were mixed with tofu water, a by-product in the making of curd from soy beans, to give richer color and indelibility.

Serizawa was a leading member of the Mingei (folk craft) movement founded in 1926 by Soetsu Yanagi, Shoji Hamada and Kanjiro Kawai. The Serizawa Keisuke Art and Craft Museum at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai has a large and specialized collection of his work. The Mingei International Museum of Folk Art located in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, has an important collection of works by Serizawa. Serizawa also donated several items to the museum which were not his own works but of important cultural significance.

Serizawa Calendars. For information on Serizawa calendar folios, click here.

 

Books Relating to Keisuke Serizawa

Serizawa Books: In Keisuke Serizawa it is stated that:

Keisuke Serizawa has produced numerous masterpieces in illustrated books sometimes in Japanese and other times in contemporary western style, including Don Quixote, Vincent Van Gogh, A Day at Mashiko, Ainu Art and Butsuge (poems of Soetsu Yangi). Over three hundred limited editions reveal his vast knowledge of human psychology as well as of the natural world and are highly prized among collectors. 1979 Mingei Catalogue at page 9.

Despite the fact that numerous books were apparently produced, they are seldom seen. I am aware of the following books.

  • 1936, Ehon Don Kihote (Don Quixote Picture Book) or Don Quixote a La Japonaise, Mukomachi (near Kyoto), Sunward Press, Bunsho Jagaku, proprietor, October 1936, large 8vo (8 1/4 x 11 1/4 in - 20.9 x 28.7 cm), text in Japanese only, high quality Japanese paper in folded sheets, kangxi Japanese style binding, illustrated covers, spine not covered except for 1 inch at the head and foot, 31 illustrations (28 double page illustrations and 3 single page), 34 folded pages for a total of 68 pages. For more information on this book, click here.

  • 1948, Okinawa Fubutsu (Views of Okinawa). For more information on this book, click here. This book is available, see below.

  • 1943, Ryukyu no Katatsuki (Ryukyuan Prints), Kyoto, Kyoto Shoin, 15 pages with printed cloth samples, 8 photographic illustrations, 11 illustrations of paper stencils, 13 drawings of the textile printing process 67 pages of text.

  • 1950, Kami-wo Tsukuru Hitotachi (Papermaking), privately printed in edition of 50 copies, Showa 25 (1950) 28 x 30 cm, 7 pages of katazome prints, paper wirts with printed title label.

  • 1954-1962, Keisuke Serizawa's Katazome Shohin Shu (K. Serizawa's Katazome Collection), 4 volumes (No. 1, 2, 3 & 4), published by Moriguchi Taro, Osaka, limited edition books (No. 1 - 100 copies, Nos. 2-4 - 200 copies). For more information on this set, click here. No. 1 and No. 2 are available, see below.

  • 1961, Haruo Sato.

  • 1967 & 1968, Keisuke Serizawa, The Stencil Artist, Volume 1 and Volume 2, Tokyo, Tsukiji Shokan Publishing Company, Ltd, distributed by Maruzen Co. Ltd, 1967 (Vol. 1) and 1968 (Vol 2), large 8vo (9 x 11 1/2 in - 22.8 x 29.2 cm), tan (Vol 1) and red (Vol 2) textured cloth with gilt decoration on covers and gilt decoration on covers and gilt lettering on spine, issued with cardboard slip cases but no dust jackets. The volumes read Japanese style from back to front except for the pages in English which read front to back. The volumes are unpaginated but the number of pages in both volumes is approximately 264 pages (118 pages in Vol 1 and 146 pages in Vol 2). There are a total of 352 images (22 color and 330 black and white). In this work "plates" are the same as images. The color plates are tipped in and were produced utilizing the color halftone process. The black and white plates are produced by the halftone process also. Many pages have more than one image ("plate") per page and some images span two pages. Each image is assigned a number and has a descriptive caption in Japanese. Several of the images are related to Okinawa. Both volumes have an attached ribbon marker. Each colophon has a small stencil illustration which probably was the work of Serizawa. For information on this set, click here. Volume 1 and 2 are available, see below.

Books with Serizawa Covers/Art Work:

  • 1934, Lafcadio Hearn, Letters from Shimane and Kyushu, Kyoto, The Sunward Press, 1934, limited edition of 100 numbered copies privately printed for Dr. Sanki Ichikawa, laid paper, 8vo, 71 pp. Cover is a stenciled design by Keisuke Serizawa.

  • 1952, Tindale, Thomas K. & Harriet R., Handmade Papers of Japan, Rutland, Tuttle, 4 volumes. Preface by Dard Hunter. Eight endpapers with stencil illustrations by Keisuke Serizawa.

  • 1964, Haruo Sato, Bunka no Hangyaku (Revolt of Cultures), published in the Geise Shimbun.

Exhibition Catalogues:

  • 1976, Serizawa, Paris, Grand Palis, 24 x 24 cm, soft cover, 122 pages. Exhibition of Serizawa art from November 23, 1976 - February 14, 1977.
     
  • 1979, Keisuke Serizawa & Martha Longenecker, Keisuke Serizawa, La Jolla, CA, Mingei International Museum of Wold Folk Art, oblong 8vo (9 1/2 x 8 1/2 in - 24 x 21.5 cm), soft covers, frontispiece photograph of Keisuke Serizawa, numerous color and black and white photographic illustrations, 46 pp. Catalogue for an exhibition of Serizawa's art held at the Mingei Museum from June 23 to October 14, 1979. Includes an illustrated discussion of the artist's stencil art techniques. Also includes a detailed "Biographical Notes" section on Serizawa. The catalogue lists all exhibits and pictures several, many full page and in color. Items include images for the artist's illustrated books, kimonos, obis, screens and norens (curtains).
    Available - 1979 Mingei Museum Exhibit Catalogue- Purchase Here

  • 2001, Serizawa, Master of Japanese Textile Design, Sendai, Japan, Tohoku Fukushi University, Serizawa Keisuke Art and Craft Museum, 2001, oblong 8vo (9 1/2 x 10 in), illustrated stiff paper wraps, illustrated dust jacket, 190+ items pictured in color, Japanese and English text, 133 pp. A catalogue for an exhibition of Keisuke Serizawa's work held August 11 through November 4, 2001 in the National Museums of Scotland. The exhibition items are followed by a biography (chronological listing of key events in Serizawa's life), an essay on "The Art of Serizawa Keisuke" by Hamada Shukuko, an essay on the "Kataezome Technique" and a "List of Works" where each of the 191 numbered items pictured are discussed in more detail including the year produced. A comprehensive illustrated presentation of Serizawa's work spanning all formats including kimono, obi, noren, screens, calendars (1946 calendar shown), stenciled paper (The Great Market in Naha City, Okinawa is shown), wall hangings, scrolls, book type illustrated stories, magazine covers, book covers and cases and paintings on glass. Includes messages from Mark Jones, Sir Hugh Cortazzi, Lord Blackenham, His Excellency Hayashi Sadayui and Serizawa Chosuke. ISBN 4-901459-06-6

 

Serizawa Art, Items Available for Purchase


Serizawa Books

1948 - Okinawa Fubutsu (Views of Okinawa). Available Here 1954 & 1955 - Keisuke Serizawa's Katazome Shohin Shu, No 1. & No. 2 (K. Serizawa's Katazome Collection). Available Here 1954 - Keisuke Serizawa's Katazome Shohin Shu, No 1 (K. Serizawa's Katazome Collection). Available Here 1967 & 1968 - Keisuke Serizawa, The Stencil Artist, Volume 1 and Volume 2. Available Here

Serizawa Katazome Calendar Folios

1956 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case (Type II) 1958 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Sack (Type II) 1959 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Sack (Probably Serizawa) 1961 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Sack 1963 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case 1963 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Sack 1966 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case 1972 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case 1972 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case, Missing Jan & May 1972 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case 1981 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case with Authentication Letter 1981 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case 1982 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case (Probably Serizawa) 1983 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case (Probably Serizawa) 1986 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case (Probably Serizawa Studio) 1987 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case (Probably Serizawa Studio)

Katazome Calendar Folios

1961 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case 1973 Calendar Folio - Available Here - (Wazome Kogei) - Sack 1976 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Sack 1977 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case 1978 Calendar Folio - Available Here - Folding Case

Serizawa Desktop Calendar Set (Small 9.1 x 14.1 cm)

1959 Desktop Calendar Folio - Available Here

Miscellaneous Works on Paper (Probably K. Serizawa)

c1948 - Shuri Area of Okinawa as Found in Okinawa Fubutsu (Views of Okinawa) - Available Here c1948 - Common Dress of Okinawa as Found in Okinawa Fubutsu (Views of Okinawa) - Available Here c1948 - The Art of Paper Making - Available Here Fuji & NY Theme - 13 x 17 in - Available Here Castle & Buildings - 13 x 17 1/4 in - Available Here Children of the Snow - 4 x 5 7/8 in - Available Here Children of the Snow - 4 x 5 7/8 in - Available Here

Wall Hangings & Furoshiki (On Cloth)

Furoshiki Cloth - 50cm x 50cm - Available Here Furoshiki Cloth (large) - 142cm x 138cm - Okiniwa/Bingata type motif Available Here Phonetic Alphabet, Wall Hanging - Small/Mounted - Available Here Kilms of North-Eastern Japan, Wall Hanging - Large - Available Here Aesops Fables & Headgear/Fan - Wall Hangings - Small (2) - Available Here

Book Covers with Serizawa Art

Shoki Otsu-e (Early Otsu-e), Mingei Sosho, Dai 2 - hen (Folk Arts Series, No. 2) - Available Here Mingei to Seikatsu (Folk Arts and Life) - Available Here

 


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