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Samburam Rock, Kūmgang Mountain from the series Eight Views of Korea


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Samburam Rock, Kūmgang Mountain

from the series Eight Views of Korea 

by Kawase Hasui, 1939

IHL Cat. #72

About This Print

Catalogue Raisonné Entry

Source: Kawase Hasui; The Complete Woodblock Prints, Kendall Brown, Amy Reigle Newland, Amsterdam, Hotei Publishing, KIT Publishers, 2003, p. 113.
Narazaki1 writes: ‘Hasui’s trip to Korea served to refresh the artist, whose art had been stagnating for some time. …The scenery and customs that Hasui witnessed in Korea marked an artistic turning point.  He illustrates the bizarre shape of the Samburam rock in the Diamond mountains (Kumgangsan, in present-day Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), showcasing its imposing character.  The lines of the rock are bold, the shape angular and the colour vivid.’

1 Narazaki Muneshige, Hasui's biographer and compiler of the artist's first catalogue raisoneeé Kawase Hasui mokuhanga shuMainichi Shinbun, Tokyo, 1979. 

Kumgang Mountains, North Korea
Catalogue Raisonné
image and entry
  430 Samburam rock, Kumgang mountain
Series: Eight views of Korea
(Chosen hakkei, Kongosan Sansengan)
  Work of August 1939
Hasui signature with Hasui seal
Published for Kansai Bijutsusha by Watanabe Shozaburo

About The Series Eight views of Korea

Source: Kawase Hasui; The Complete Woodblock Prints, Kendall Brown, Amy Reigle Newland, Amsterdam, Hotei Publishing, KIT Publishers, 2003, p. 113.
These prints resulted from a trip Hasui made to Korea in 1939, together with the artists Ikegami Shuho (1874-1944), Yazawa Genetsu (1886-1952), Nagata Shunsui (1889-1970) and Yamakawa Shuho (1898-1944).  The prints were published by Kansai Bijutsusha [関西 美術社] in Osaka headed by Naito Seifu, but produced by Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962).  The series title does not appear on the prints.

The Crossed Out Seal

The following information was supplied by Chris Johannesen of shinhanga.net:

Print is N436, titled  "Sansen Rock on Mt. Kongo."  It is part of the 1939 series "Eight Views of Korea" which was first published by Kansai Bijutsusha, not to be confused with Bijutsusha.  The inventory and blocks were later acquired by Watanabe, who then reissued prints under his own seal.  Same goes for the 1940 follow-on series "Korean Views, Supplement".

This print was apparently part of the acquired inventory, hence the crossed-out Kansai seal.  

My note: The artist's catalog raisonné, published by Hotei, incorrectly describes the bottom Kansai seal as a Watanabe "F" style seal.  There is no Watanabe publisher's seal of any type in the image in the Hotei catalog raisonné - just the seal from the original publisher Kansai Bijutsusha which reads 版権所有?関西美術社 (copyright ownership Kansai Bijutsusha).

Click on the seal image on the left to enlarge.

Kumgang Mountains North Korea

Source: The People's Korea website http://www1.korea-np.co.jp/pk/051th_issue/98071511.htm
Here The People's Korea introduces famous sightseeing spots around the Kumgang Mountains.

Mt. Kumgang is renowned for their scenic beauty; it has various spectacular mountain carved out of granite rocks, a series of rocky pinnacles piercing the sky, deep and narrow canyons with nearly vertical granite walls and a number of water falls and rapids along the stream.
Its natural scenery is due to a large measure to the special geological structure of the area. The mountain consists mainly of granite and diorite. Long weathering produced mountain formations and cliffs of multifarious shapes. The variation in geographical location and weather and climatic conditions, too, contributed to the formation of Mt. Kumgang.

Situated at the northern tip of the Taebaek Mountains which stretch along the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, the mountain covers an area of 400 square kilometers, runs 60 kilometers in length and has a width of 40 kilometers from east to west. The highest peak of the mountain is Piro Peak.

On account of its consummate scenic beauty, the mountain has been given four names each for the four seasons by Korean people from time immemorial. In spring, when various kinds of flowers are in bloom and emit fragrance, they are called "Kumgang (Diamond) Mountains" because they sparkle like diamonds; in summer when their sheer cliffs are enveloped by drifting clouds and clad in green foliage and full of singing birds, they pass under the name of the Pongrae Mountains; in autumn when they are aflame with autumnal colors and moonlight mirrored in the blue streams adds beauty of them, they go by the name of Pungak mountains; and in winter when they present an attractive snowscape and are solemnized by ice pillars, they are called "the Kaegonal Mountains" (But they have come to be widely known generally as the Kumgang Mountain.)

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #72
 Title  Samburam Rock, Kūmgang Mountain
 金剛山 三仙巖 Kongōsan Sansengan
 Series  Eight Views of Korea
 朝鮮八景 Chōsen hakkei
 Kawase Hasui (1883-1957)
 Hasui (Note: This rectangular Hasui seal was used only in the Eight Views of Korea series.)
 Seal  Hasui (see image above)
 Publication Date
August 1939
正和十四年八月作 date appearing in bottom of left margin
 Edition  First (and only) edition with "D" seal (For a full discussion of Watanabe publisher seals see "Watanabe Publisher Marks, Seals and Editions."  Also see "The Crossed Out Seal" above for a discussion of the two publisher's seals in the right margin of this print.)
 Publisher  Published for Kansai Bijutsusha by Watanabe Shōzaburō

top seal: Watanabe "D"-type seal (in use from approximately 1929-1942) reading: 
 版権所有 渡辺庄三郎 
hankenshoyū Watanabe Shōzaburō 
 copyright reserved Watanabe Shōzaburō

bottom seal: 
 original publisher Kansai Bijutsusha reading: 
版権所有大阪関西美術社 copyright ownership Kansai Bijutsusha, Osaka
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent
 Genre  shin hanga (new prints)
 Format  Oban tate-e
 H x W Paper  16 5/8 x 11 1/2 in. (42.2 x 29.2 cm)
 H x W Image  15 1/2 x 10 5/8 in. (39.4 x 27 cm)
 Collections This Print Los Angeles County Museum of Art M.73.37.202 ("D" seal with crossed out seal of Kansai Bijutsusha)
 Reference Literature Catalogue Raisonné: Kawase Hasui; The Complete Woodblock Prints, Kendall Brown, Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, KIT Publishers, 2003, p. 113, pl. 430
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