Masterpieces Selected from the Ukiyoye School
Volume I
Shiichi Tajima, Editor, 1906

 

 


Volume I      Volume II      Volume III
Volume IV      Volume V

Tajima Shiichi (editor)
Omura Seigai (text)
Goodrich, Joseph King (translation into English):
Masterpieces Selected from the Ukiyoye School (Eibun Ukiyoe-Ha Gashu), Shimbi Shoin, Tokyo, 1906, Volume I of a five volume set, folio (13 1/2 x 19 1/2 in - 34.2 x 49.5 cm), silk covered boards with a woodblock illustration on the front board, edges beveled, spine covered in decorated silk cloth, purple silk ties, title in English in gilt on front board, top and bottom page edges in gilt, text in English, 40 plates (33 color woodblock and 7 black and white collotype), 40 text pages (preface - v-viii and numbered pages 1-36). Each plate is preceded by a tissue guard with information in English regarding the plate that follows. There are numerous black and white text illustrations in the text pages. While most are woodcuts, a few are collotypes. Issued with a straw textured wrap-around case with ivory type clasps. According to Shimbi Shoin catalogues "Regular," "Special" and "De Luxe" editions were issued. Each volume contains a numbered limitation statement indicating the number of the set out of total sets printed.

Volume I deals with:

  • Genre Before and About the Keicho and the Kwanyei Parts (1596-1643)
  • Matabei Iwasa
  • The Hishikawa School.
The following schools and artists are discussed and their art reproduced: Kano School, Tosa School, Hideyori Kano, Naisen Kano, Matabei Iwasa, Moronobu Hishikawa, Morofusa Hishikawa, Moroshige Hishikawa, Morohira Hishikawa, Wawo Hishikawa, Tomofusa Hishikawa, Morotsugi Furuyama and Moromasa Furuyama.

For more information on the complete five volume set, see below.

 

Text Pages

Preface

List of Plates

Illustrated Limitation page
("Special Edition" No. 300)



Title Page



Example of Descriptive Tissue Guard



Text Pages
                                    Pages
Preface             Pages v-viii     4
Listing of Plates   Unnumbered  
Part I              Pages 1-14      14
Part II             Pages 15-24     10
Part III            Pages 25-36     12

               Total Text Pages --  36 + 4 unnumbered pages of preface


Part I.    Genre Before and About the Keicho and the
           Kwanyei Parts (1596-1643) - Plates 1-16
         
Part II.   Matabei Iwasa - Plates 17-27

Part III.  The Hishikawa School - Plates 28-40
             Chapter I.    Moronobu Hishikawa
             Chapter II.   Morofusa Hishikawa
             Chapter III.  Moroshigi Hishikawa
             Chapter IV.   Morohiga Hishikawa
             Chapter V.    Wano Hishikawa
             Chapter VI.   Tomfusa Hishikawa
             Chapter VII.  Morotsugi Furuyama
             Chapter VIII. Moromasa Furuyama


Plates

(Color Except for the 8 Underlined Plates) Volume I. List of Plates 1. Women Looking at The Maple-Trees at Takao, near Kyoto By Hideyori Kano 2-3. The Festival of Toyokuni Daimyojin By Naisen Kano 4. Ship being Unloaded Kano School 5. House Building Kano School 6. Shooting Kano School 7. Horse Training Kano School 8. The Hikone Screen Kano School 9. Women Tranquilly Playing Artist Unknown 10-11. Kabuki no Soshi (Dramatic Pictures) Kano School 12. A Beauty and A Little Girl Artist Unknown 13-14. Groups of Men and Women Dancing Together Artist Unknown 15. A Girl Dancer Tosa School 16. View in The Vicinity of Kyoto Tosa School Part Two 17. Poet Kakinomoto no Hitomaru By Matabei Iwasa 18. Poetess Nakatsukasa By Matabei Iwasa 19-20. Men and Women Playing Together By Matabei Iwasa 21-22. Men and Women Playing and Dancing Together By Matabei Iwasa 23-24. Men and Women Tranquilly Playing Together By Matabei Iwasa 25. Hermitess Lo-fou By Matabei Iwasa 26. Tsurayuki Kino By Matabei Iwasa 27. A Cherry-blossom Party Iwasa School Part Three The Hishikawa School 28. The Sumida-gawa, A Theatrical Picture By Moronobu Hishikawa 29-30. Futari Saruwaka, A Theatrical Picture: A House of Ill-fame By Moronobu Hishikawa 31. A Beauty in Profile By Moronobu Hishikawa 32. A Beauty and A Young Man By Moronobu Hishikawa 33. A Beautiful Girl with Her Maid By Morofusa Hishikawa 34. Ryogoku Bridge By Moroshige Hishikawa 35. A Youth Carrying A Lady By Morohim Hishikawa 36. A Theatrical Picture By Wawo Hishikawa 37. A House of Ill-fame By Tomofusa Hishikawa 38. Poetess Komachi Washing The Book By Morotsugi Furuyama 39. A Beauty Under A Plum-tree By Moromasa Furuyaina 40. A Beautiful Girl with Her Maid By Moromasa Furuyama 32 color, 8 black & white collotype Black and white plate nos. are underlined above. Listing of Plates (above repeated but with no illustrations) Volume I. List of Plates 1. Women Looking at The Maple-Trees at Takao, near Kyoto By Hideyori Kano 2-3. The Festival of Toyokuni Daimyojin By Naisen Kano 4. Ship being Unloaded Kano School 5. House Building Kano School 6. Shooting Kano School 7.. Horse Training Kano School 8. The Hikone Screen Kano School 9. Women Tranquilly Playing Artist Unknown 10-11. Kabuki no Soshi (Dramatic Pictures) Kano School 12. A Beauty and A Little Girl Artist Unknown 13-14. Groups of Men and Women Dancing Together Artist Unknown 15. A Girl Dancer Tosa School 16. View in The Vicinity of Kyoto Tosa School Part Two 17. Poet Kakinomoto no Hitomaru By Matabei Iwasa 18. Poetess Nakatsukasa By Matabei Iwasa 19-20. Men and Women Playing Together By Matabei Iwasa 21-22. Men and Women Playing and Dancing Together By Matabei Iwasa 23-24. Men and Women Tranquilly Playing Together By Matabei Iwasa 25. Hermitess Lo-fou By Matabei Iwasa 26. Tsurayuki Kino By Matabei Iwasa 27. A Cherry-blossom Party Iwasa School Part Three The Hishikawa School 28. The Sumida-gawa, A Theatrical Picture By Moronobu Hishikawa 29-30. Futari Saruwaka, A Theatrical Picture: A House of Ill-fame By Moronobu Hishikawa 31. A Beauty in Profile By Moronobu Hishikawa 32. A Beauty and A Young Man By Moronobu Hishikawa 33. A Beautiful Girl with Her Maid By Morofusa Hishikawa 34. Ryogoku Bridge By Moroshige Hishikawa 35. A Youth Carrying A Lady By Morohim Hishikawa 36. A Theatrical Picture By Waivo Hishikawa 37. A House of Ill-fame By Toinofusa Hishikawa 38. Poetess Komachi Washing The Book By Morotsugi Funtyama 39. A Beauty Under A Plum-tree By Moromasa Fumyaina 40. A Beautiful Girl with Her Maid By Moroniasa Fumyama

Colophon

Printed: Meiji 39 (1906).6.20
Published: Meiji 39 (1906).6.25

Folding case

 

 


Volume I      Volume II      Volume III
Volume IV      Volume V

To return to main page for Shimbi Shoin publications, click here.

 

General Information
on the Five Volume Set

Beauty Looking Back

 

Tajima Shiichi (editor)
Omura Seigai (text)
Goodrich, Joseph King (translation into English):
Masterpieces Selected from the Ukiyoye School (Eibun Ukiyoe-Ha Gashu), Shimbi Shoin, Tokyo, 1906-9 (Meiji 39-42), Volumes I-V, folio (13 1/2 x 19 1/2 in - 34.2 x 49.5 cm), silk covered boards decorated with a woodblock illustration on the front board, edges beveled, spine covered in brocade silk cloth, purple silk ties, volume number and title in English in gilt on front board, top and bottom page edges in gilt, text in English, 170 plates (158 color woodblock and 12 black and white collotype), 214 pp (210 numbered text pages and a 4 page preface). Each plate is preceded by a tissue guard with information in English regarding the plate that follows. There are numerous black and white text illustrations in the text pages. While most are woodcuts, a few are collotypes. Issued with a straw textured wrap-around case with ivory type clasps. According to Shimbi Shoin catalogues "Regular," "Special" and "De Luxe" editions were issued. Each volume in the set contains a numbered limitation statement indicating the number of the set out of total sets printed.

A Japanese language version (Eibun Ukiyoe-Ha Gashu) or (Ukiyoye-ha Gwashu) was also published. This 5 volume set is reported to contain a total of 150 plates, 20 less than in the English language set.

One of the largest plates in the English language version is number 155 in volume 5 which reproduces a triptych titled "Part of a Roll Representing Various Fashions in the Four Seasons" by Yeishi Hosoda. This plate has an image area of 30.5 x 77 cm and has three folds out. It is apparently not found in the Japanese language version of the set.

The Shimbi Shoin outlines in detail the color woodblock (chromoxylograph) process it uses in Process of Wood-Cut Printing Explained. This description can be found here.

  English Language Version ---- Japanese Language Version

   

Volumes 1- 5 of he ordinary edition are digitally archived here - the collection of the family of Henry Posner, Sr. at Carnegie Mellon University.

Wenckstern calls the book Masterpieces Selected from the Ukiyoye [popular] School and states:

...in five volumes of 30 plates each. Volume I contains an essay on the origin and development of the Ukiyoye school, biographical data sketches of the artist and some critical descriptions. 35 pp text and 39 plates. (Edition de luxe, 100 copies, 250 yen the set; ordinary edition, 600 copies, 200 yen the set.

Early Shimbi Shoin catalogues described the set with 150 pictures (plates). Later catalogues modified that to 170. Booksellers have reported the set with 175 plates but I have not been able to confirm that as accurate. It is possible that the 175 number was the number of woodblock prints. Some plates contain more than one woodblock print. Volume IV contains 5 color illustrations (probably woodblocks) incorporated as illustrations into the text section.

An early, but undated, Shimbi Shoin catalogue states that the edition was limited to 700 copies and of that total 100 were deluxe editions. This catalogue listed three editions:

Edition de luxe - 26 GB Pounds
Special Edition - 23 GB Pounds
Ordinary Edition - 21 GB Pounds

This catalogue stated:

5. The number of volumes in this edition is limited to Seven hundred copies, including 100 copies of the edition de luxe and 100 copies of the special edition (that is bound in a more attractive way that the ordinary edition and some of such pictures as were originally painted on silk will be reproduced in silk). Each volume in the entire series is numbered and registered, as a guarantee of its genuineness.

The number of this set printed is uncertain. To compound this problem, it is unclear whether the printing numbers are for the English language version, the Japanese language version, or both.

     600 sets -     Ordinary Edition
     200-300 sets - Special Edition*
     100 sets -     Edition de Luxe
     900~1000 sets total

* A "special edition" set with a limitation statement of 200 but with number "300" has been confirmed.

By 1920, Shimbi Shoin catalogues dropped reference to the "Edition de luxe." Perhaps this was because they were sold out.

The editor, Shiichi Tajima, was also the editor of Selected Relics of Japanese Art, a 20 volume set published between 1899 and 1908. These set was very similar in composition to this book. It featured prominent Japanese art reproduced in collotype and woodblock. During the period of 1902-7, the The Kwansai Photograph Company produced the collotype plates used in that set.

Plate Types by Volume

 
The actual dimensions of the plates range from a woodblock prints tipped to a page (page size is 12 x 19 1/4 in - 30.5 x 49 cm) and occupying 60-80% of the page to massive fold-out plates like plate 48 in Volume II. That plate has four folds out and the woodblock print that is tipped to page is almost 3 feet long by almost 1 foot high.


Plate 48 - 3 folds out
Page Size: 19 1/4 x 40 1/4 in - 49 x 101.5 cm
Woodblock Print Size: 11 x 35 1/2 in - 28 x 94 cm

 
Listing of Plates can be reviewed here:

Volume I
Volume II
Volume III
Volume IV
Volume V

 
Contents of the five volumes cover:

Volume I     1906 (Meiji 39) - [Plates 1-40]
Part One.    Genre of Before and About the Keicho and the Kwanye 
               Eras (1596-1643) - Plates 1-16.
Part Two.    Matabei Iwasa - Plates 17-27
Part Three.  The Hishikawa School - Plates 28-40
               Chapter I.    Moronobu Hishikawa
               Chapter II.   Morofusa Hishikawa
               Chapter III.  Moroshige Hishikawa
               Chapter IV.   Morohira Hishikawa
               Chapter V.    Wawo Hishikawa
               Chapter VI.   Tomofusa Hishikawa
               Chapter VII.  Morotsugi Furuyama
               Chapter VIII. Moromasa Furuyama
               
                  33 color woodblock plates
                   7 black and white collotypes 


Volume II    1907 (Meiji 40) - [Plates 41-73]
Part Four    Miyagawa School - Plates 41-54.
               Chapter I.     Choshun Miyagawa
               Chapter II.    Shunsui Katsu-Miyagawa
               Chapter III.   Choki Miyagawa; Masayuki Miyagawa;
                              Issho Miyagawa, and Shinsui Katsukawa
Part Five    Katsukawa School - Plates 55-73
               Chapter I.     Shunsho Katsukawa
               Chapter II.    Shuncho Katsukawa
               Chapter III.   Shunye Katsukawa
               Chapter IV.    Shunko Katsukawa
               Chapter V.     Shundo Katsukawa
               Chapter VI.    Shunkaku, Shunjo, Shunkyo, Shunko, Shunrin
                               Shunkyoku, Shunsen, Shungyo and Kyokko Katsukawa
               Chapter VII.   Shuntei Katsukawa
               Chapter VIII.  Shunsen Katsukawa
               Chapter IX.    Shunzan Katsukawa
               Chapter X.     Shuntoku and Shundo Katsukawa
              
                  31 color woodblock plates
                   2 black and white collotype plates


Volume III     1908 (Meiji 41) - [Plates 74 - 103]
Part Six     Kwaigetsudo School
               Chapter I.  Founder of the Kwaigetsudo School
               Chapter II.  Disciples of Kwaigetsudo
Part Seven   Torii School
               Chapter I. Kiyomoto Torii
               Chapter II.  Kiyonobe Torii
               Chapter III.  Kiyomasu Torii
               Chapter IV.  Chincho Hagawa
               Chapter V.  Kiyomitsu Torii
               Chapter VI.  Kiyotsune Torii
               Chapter VII.  Kiyonaga Torii
               Chapter VIII.  Kiyomine Torii (The Second Kiyomitsu)
               Chapter IX.  Kiyotada Torii
               Chapter X.  Kiyoyoshi Torii (The Third Kiyomitsu)
Part Eight
               Chapter I.  Shigenaga and Shigenobu Nishimura
               Chapter II.  Toyonobu and Toyomasa Ishikawa
               Chapter III.  Koryosai Isoda
               Chapter IV.  Harunobu Suzuki
               Chapter V.  Fusanobu Tomikawa
Part Nine    Toriyama School
               Chapter I.  Toriyama School
               Chapter II.  Harumachi Koikawa
               Chapter III.  Shiko Momokawa

                  30 color woodblock plates
                   0 black and white collotype plates


Volume IV      1907 (Meiji 40) - [Plates 104 - 143]
Part Ten       Okumura School - Plates 104-107
               Chapter I.     Masanobu Okumura
               Chapter II.    Toshinobu and Masafusa
Part Eleven    Kitao School - Plates 108-116
               Chapter I.     Shigemasa Kitao
               Chapter II.    Masanobu Kiato
               Chapter III.   Masayoshi Kiato
               Chapter IV.    Shunman Kubota
               Chapter V.     Ryuko Kitao and Yoshimura Kiato
Part Twelve    Utagawa School - Plates 117-127
               Chapter I.     Toyoharu Utagawa
               Chapter II.    Toyohiro Utagawa
               Chapter III.   Toyokuni Utagawa
               Chapter IV.    Kunisada Utagawa
               Chapter V.     Kuniyoshi Utagawa
               Chapter VI.    Hiroshige Utagawa
Part Thirteen  Katsushika School - Plates 128-143
               Chapter I.     Hokusai Katsushika
               Chapter II.    Hokutai Katsushika
               Chapter III.   Hokuba Arisaka
               Chapter IV.    Hokkei Totoya
               Chapter V.     Shigenobu Yanagawa
               Chapter VI.    Shinsai Ryuryukyo
               
                  38 color woodblock plates
                   2 black and white collotype plates


Volume V       1909  (Meiji 42) - [Plates 144-170]
Part Fourteen  Kitagawa School  Plates 144-150
               Chapter I.     Utamaro Kitagawa
               Chapter II.    Disciples of Utamaro
               
Part Fifteen   Hosoda School  Plates 151-158
               Chapter I.     Yeishi Hosoda
               Chapter II.    
               Chapter III.
               Chapter IV.    Disciples of Yeishi
               
Part Sixteen   Kikugawa School  Plates 159 
               Chapter I.     Yeizan Kikugawa
               Chapter II.    Keisai Yeisen
               Chapter III.   Yeisho Kikugawa
               Chapter IV.    Disciples of Yeisen
               
Part Seventeen Hanabusa School  Plates 160-164   
               Chapter I.     Itcho Hanabusa
               Chapter II.    Sushi Sawaki and Sukoku Ko
               
Part Eighteen  Miscellaneous Artists of Kyoto and Osaka  Plates  165-170
               Chapter I.     Rippo Hinaya
               Chapter II.    Sukenobu Nishikawa
               
                  26 color woodblock plates
                   1 black and white collotype 

 
Wrap-Around Case. Issued with a straw/grass textured wrap-around cases (chitsu cases) with printed silk title label and two ivory type clasps.

 
Limitation Statements. After the half title page in each volume there is an illustrated limitation statement. The illustration is different in each volume. The number is sometimes written in English and sometimes in Japanese and it is incorporated into text portion of the illustration. The limitation statements indicate the number of the set out of the total published. Some limitation statements reference "Six Hundred Copies" (ordinary or regular edition). Others reference "Two Hundred Copies" of a "Special Edition." I have not examined a limitation statement from a "Edition de luxe." Below are limitation statements for the ordinary and special editions found in Volume I.

 
Paper Types. High quality paper was used in the production of this set. The following paper types are noted.

  • Medium paper stock (folded and unfolded). Front and back blank pages (unfolded), half title page (folded), limitation statement page (folded), full title page (folded).
  • Thin paper stock (folded and unfolded). Text pages(folded) and descriptive tissue guards (unfolded), list of plates (folded) & colophon (folded). Fold-out collotype plates are printed on thin paper which is then tipped to the heavy card stock plate page in the book.
  • Heavy card stock (always unfolded). All plates (woodblock and collotype) are mounted to thick/heavy card stock plate pages in the book. The woodblock prints are tipped to thick/heavy card stock plate pages. In the case of fold-out woodblock plates, they are tipped to heavy card stock paper that is then glued along one edge to the plate page in the book. Non-folding collotype plates are printed directly on thick/heavy card stock.

 
Descriptive Tissue Guards. The plates are preceded by descriptive tissue guards. An example of the text is here. Often, a descriptive tissue guard will apply to more than one plate. These descriptions provide:

  • Title of the Art
  • Artist or School
  • Type of Work (ie screen, painting)
  • Dimensions of the Original Work
  • Owner.

 
Typical Collation. Blank page (front), half title page/limitation statement page, full title page/back blank, list of plates/back blank, text pages, plates, text pages, plates, colophon/back blank & blank page (back).



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