Title Collection of Nishikie on History, Geography, and Customs [Rekishi chiri fuzoku Nishikie bunko] (5 volumes)
Binding Wraps, with a cloth folio
Book Condition Very Good
Publisher Tokyo 1917-1920
Seller ID 002540
The set of five volumes contain in total 174 wonderful color woodblocks. The set was surely intended at least in part for the tourist market, and thus its component volumes include some of the justly most famous books and illustrations produced in Japan. Among the volumes is the classic work by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861), Seichu Gishi Den, or Stories of the True Loyalty of the Faithful Sumurai, with 50 plates, Utagawa Hiroshiga's "The Story of the Revenge of the Soga Brothers" or "Soga Monogatari", 30 plates, as well as from his "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo". or Meisho Yedo Hiakke, 28 plates, "Kokon Meifuden", or "Anthology of famous women of all ages" by Utagawa Toyokuni (1769 - 1825), 30 plates, and finally " Kinsei kyogiden" or "Biographies of Modern Men" illustrated by Kaisai Yoshitoshi (1832-1892). These volumes may be abridgments of the originals, but all of them offer plates that dazzle with their color, and the print quality is high indeed. With the cross-section of martial and domestic subjects, lovely panoramas and human studies, the Westerner could enjoy a balanced cross-section of the high points of Japanese color woodblock tradition, a tradition that strongly influenced Western artists of the late nineteenth century and beyond, including Van Gogh, Whistler, and many others. The covers all have some wear and light soiling. Generally the plates are bright and clean. The cloth folio which houses the five volumes has sunning and wear but remains structurally sound. A sixth volume was issued by Ogawa, but it should be noted that the five volumes here fit snugly into their folio and thus the set here is complete.