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The Sakawa River and Mount Fuji from the series Twenty-Five Views of Mount Fuji: A Woodblock Collection

New Year at the Lakshore and Mount Fuji from the series Twenty-Five Views of Mount Fuji: A Woodblock Collection

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

The Sakawa River and Mount Fuji

from the series Twenty-Five Views of Mount Fuji:

A Woodblock Collection

by Jōkata Kaiseki, 1931

Jōkata Kaiseki (1882-1966)

IHL Cat. #1194

About This Print

One of twenty-five prints in the series Twenty-Five Views of Mount Fuji: A Woodblock Collection, published by the artist in 1931. In this print Fuji rises behind the hills, clouds and mist as the Sakawagawa meanders between the hills and transmission lines.  The stone marker in the left foreground reads "the border of Kanagawa and Shizuoka Prefectures" 神奈川縣 静岡縣 界. The foreground shows us the edge of a traditional looking village with electrical and telephone transmission lines punctuating the landscape.  This combining of the traditional with the modern is one of hallmarks of this series by Jōkata Kaiseki. 

About This Series

As mentioned in the artist's biography, there is some confusion about whether Jōkata created one or two series of prints with views of Mt. Fuji.  While a number of sources refer to a ca. 1929 twelve print series of views of Fuji, the only documentation I've seen is for the 1931 twenty-five print series, which includes all twelve prints supposedly making up the 1929 series.  While the author quoted below references the twelve print 1929 series, the words equally apply to the 1931 series.

In the 1920s and 1930s the constituent parts of old and new Japan often collided.  As with writers of the period, print artists frequently focused on this friction between the past and present.  Jōkata Kaiseki's twelve print series Views of Fuji from 1929 ... sights a symbol of traditional Japan through the lens of modernity.  [A]irplanes and power poles are placed alongside such traditional emblems as farmhouses and rural villages.  Kaiseki, an artist known only through this series, was likely familiar with the ukiyo-e tradition.  By "hiding" Mt. Fuji in his compositions, he alludes to Hokusai's classic Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji (Fuji sanjūrokkei) of 1828-1833 in which Mt. Fuji is sometimes viewed through a barrel or from under an arched wooden bridge.  Kaiseki's Mt. Fuji, a symbol of traditional Japan, exists in a world which contains modern elements.1


1 "The Cultural Landscape: Modernity and its Ideological Reaction," by Alexandra J. Marmion appearing in Light in Darkness: Women in Japanese Prints of Early Shōwa (1926-1945), Kendall H. Brown, et. al., Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California, 1996, p. 21.


Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #1194
 Title  The Sakawa River and Mount Fuji 酒匂川富士
 [title as given in the table of contents accompanying the entire series]
 Alternate title: 酒匂川の富士
 Series Twenty-Five Views of Mount Fuji: Woodblock Collection
 木版画集 富士二十五景
 Artist 
 Jōkata Kaiseki (1882-1966)
 Signature 
塊石筆 Kaiseki hitsu
 Seal  sealed 塊石 Kaiseki [see image above]
 Publication Date  1931
 Edition  
 Publisher  self-published under the name Kaiseki Print Publishing Society  塊石版画刊行会
 Printer  unknown
 Carver  Kawatsura Yoshio
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent - slight unevenness in top border
 Genre  sosaku-hanga (creative print)
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  dai-ōban
 H x W Paper  10 3/8 x 13 3/4 in. (27.3 x 34.9 cm)
 H x W Image  10 3/8 x 13 3/4 in. (27.3 x 34.9 cm)
 Collections This Print  
 Reference Literature
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