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Chion-In Temple Black Gate Spring Scene from the series New Famous Places of Kyoto

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Chion-In Temple Black Gate Spring Scene

from the series New Famous Places of Kyoto

by Kamei Tōbei, after 1953

Takao Autumn Scenery from the series New Views of Kyoto

IHL Cat. #803

About This Print

One of twelve small-size prints (approx. 5 x 6.5 in.) from the portfolio titled New Famous Places of Kyoto (志ん京都名所 Shin Kyōto meisho), designed by the artists Kamei Tōbei  (1901-1977) and Tokuriki Tomikichirō (1902-2000)*, and published by the New Famous Places of Kyoto Publication Society (新京都名所刊行会).

The two artists often collaborated and the publishing entity New Famous Places of Kyoto Publication Society, is likely a construct of the two artists.

This print presents a view of Chion-In Temple's Black Gate (Kuromon). A fenced enclosure is seen in the lower left of the print protecting the "squash stone" (uryseki).  The stone, which has a very low profile to the ground, was there before the temple was built and is connected to two legends.  One is that gourds sprang from this stone, even though no one planted any seeds, and the other is that the god of Yasaka Shrine paid two visits to this stone and on the night after the second visit many gourds sprang from the stone.1

* It is unclear if Tokuriki actually designed any of the prints themselves as all the prints carry some version of Kamei's artist seal.

The Complete Portfolio


Six or more of the print designs in this portfolio seem to have also been issued at another time, possibly printed using different blocks. The website of The Agency of Cultural Affairs - Cultural Heritage Online contains six of these prints, with each print visibly different from the prints in this collection. As with this collection's prints, their prints are not dated, but they attribute the prints to Kamei Genbei, a name used by Kamei after 1953, which helps narrow the publication dates to post-1953.

1 Website of Kyoto University of Foreign Studies "Learning About Kyoto" http://www.kyopro.kufs.ac.jp/dp/dp01.nsf/ecfa8fdd6a53a7fc4925700e00303ed8/d554aa921fbd4fec49256f9000214d80!OpenDocument


Kuromon (The Black Gate).
The fenced enclosure for the "squash stone" can be seen in the foreground.


Chion-In Temple

Source: wikipedia
Chion-in (知恩院) in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan is the headquarters of the Jōdo-shū (Pure Land Sect) founded by Hōnen (1133–1212), who proclaimed that sentient beings are reborn in Amida Buddha's Western Paradise (Pure Land) by reciting the nembutsu, Amida Buddha's name.

The vast compounds of Chion-in include the site where Hōnen settled to disseminate his teachings and the site where he died.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #803
 Title  Chion-In Temple Black Gate Spring Scene — 智恩院黒門 春景
 Series  New Famous Places of Kyoto 志ん京都名所
 Artist
 Kamei Tōbei  (1901-1977)
 Signature
 not signed
 Seal
artist's unread seal と?
 Date  after 1953
 Edition  unknown
 Publisher  新京都名所刊行会 New Famous Places of Kyoto Publication Society
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - minor foxing
 Genre  sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  yotsugiri
 H x W Paper  5 x 6 5/8 in. (12.7 x 16.8 cm)
 H x W image 4 7/8 x 6 7/16 in. (12.4 x 16.4 cm)
 Collections This Print  
 Reference Literature
last update:
10/10/2019
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