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Illustration of the Second National Industrial Exposition at Ueno Park

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Illustration of the Second National Industrial Exposition at Ueno Park

by Yōshū Chikanobu, 1881

Illustration of the Second National Industrial Exhibition at Ueno Park

IHL Cat. #105

About This Print

One of a number of prints designed by Chikanobu showing the Second National Industrial Exhibition, many of which were bird's eye views of the whole compound or panoramas of the grand plaza area. [Also see this collection's print IHL Cat. #1222.] This print is set in the courtyard in front of the Art Museum in Ueno Park, built by the British Architect Josiah Conder (1852-1890) in 1881.   People are shown in a mixture of traditional and western style attire strolling in the front courtyard and around the Shōjō Fountain.1  A number of prints with similar compositions were created by other artists, such as the print pictured below by Utagawa Hiroshige III (1842–1894).

The First National Industrial Exhibition was held in 1877 and attracted nearly half a million visitors.
The Second National Industrial Exhibition was even larger and open to the public on March 1, 1881.  Such fairs followed European and American examples where the newest manufactures from Japan and abroad could be displayed. 

1 The three meter high fountain was in the form of four shōjō (mythical sea-dwellers) supporting a ceramic jar on their backs.

The Art Museum

Source: “Styling Japan: The Case of Josiah Conder and the Museum at Ueno, Tokyo,” Alice Y. Tseng, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 63, No. 4 (Dec., 2004), p. 472.

In 1881, as visitors to the Second National Industrial Exhibition in Tokyo proceeded along the central axis of the fairgrounds in Ueno Park, they were ultimately confronted by a monumental building.  In one of the printed guides to the exhibition, they read the following description of this prominent visual marker: “The art gallery is the brick building standing in the center of the grounds behind the middle gate.  Its height is over 45 shaku [45 feet], its length is over 354 shaku [352 feet], and it covers over 724 tsubo [25,700 square feet].  Twin round towers add to the impressive height and beauty of the façade.  This structure was built to the design of  a professor at the Imperial College of Engineering, the Englishman Mr. Conder…The solidity of this building is for sure matched by no other [in Japan].”  The publication also informed visitors that after the exhibition closed, the building would become the permanent home of the national museum collection, its debut here being a preview of its long-term function.

Reference Images

 
The Fine Arts Museum and the Shōjō Fountain
at the Second National Industrial Exposition

 Hiroshige III, April 1881
  Art Museum at the Second National Industrial Exposition, 1881

PowerPoint Presentation Notes from 1-31-2017 Presentation

Illustration of the Second National Industrial Exposition in Ueno Park, 1881

This print is set in the courtyard in front of the Art Museum in Ueno Park, built by the British Architect Josiah Conder (1852-1890) for the exhibition. As visitors proceeded along the central axis of the fairgrounds, they were confronted by a monumental building. A description from a printed guide to the exhibition states: “The art gallery is the brick building standing in the center of the grounds behind the middle gate. Its height is over 45 shaku [45 feet], its length is over 354 shaku [352 feet], and it covers over 724 tsubo [25,700 square feet]. Twin round towers add to the impressive height and beauty of the façade. This structure was built to the design of a professor at the Imperial College of Engineering, the Englishman Mr. Conder…The solidity of this building is for sure matched by no other.”


Most prints of the 2nd National Industrial Exposition featured the English architect Josiah Conder’s art museum, a prime example of the successful implementation of European technology using Japanese workers and craftsmen.  While a printed guide to the exposition noted ”the solidity of this building,” it was to be turned to rubble by the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake.


Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #105
 Title or Description  Illustration of the Second National Industrial Exposition at Ueno Park
 Ueno hakurankai no zu 上野博覧会之図 
 Series
 Artist  Yōshū Chikanobu (1838-1912)
 Signature
楊洲周延 筆 Yōshū Chikanobu hitsu
 Seal  
 Publication Date  1881
 Publisher
浅野栄蔵 Asano Eizō [Marks: pub. ref. 020; similar to seal ref. 26-059.]
right side: publisher's name followed by address 出版人 浅野栄蔵
left side: artist's birth name followed by address 画工 橋本直義


 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good – panels pasted together, album backing, vertical fold next to the left seam, five worm tracks (1/2 inch) on the sky.
 Genre  ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous   
 Format  vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper 
 13 3/4 x 28 in. (34.9 x 71.1 cm)
 Literature 
 
 Collections This Print
 Edo-Tokyo Museum  90209699, 700, 701
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