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The Nikko Highway


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

The Nikko Highway

by Kawase Hasui, originally 1930

IHL Cat. #68

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. 83.
The Nikko highway or “Nikkokaido” was one of the five highways (gokaido) that began from the Nihonbashi in Edo (present-day Tokyo); it ran north-south from Nihonbashi to Nikko.  The other highways included the Tokaido, Nakasendo, Koshukaido and Oshukaido.  The segment of the Nikkokaido illustrated here is in Tochigi Prefecture.

Cryptomeria Avenue (Nikko Highway)
More than 14,000 cryptomeria were planted over a 20-year period along the avenues to the Toshogu Shrine by order of Matsudaira Masatsuna.

 Catalogue Raisonné
image and entry
  211 The Nikko Highway
  Work of 1930
Hasui signature with Kawase Seal
Publisher: Watanabe Shozaburo (Seal B)
Artist's Watercolor
from Catalog Raisonné

Catalogue Entry from The Toledo Art Museum Show 1936

Source: Modern Japanese Prints, Dorothy Blair, The Toledo Art Museum 1997 (Printed from a photographic reproduction of two exhibition catalogues of modern Japanese prints published by The Toledo Museum of Art in 1930 and 1936)
One of the avenues leading to the famous shrines at Nikko, bordered with huge cryptomeria trees; in the foreground a workman carrying a basked for leaves.  145/16 x 9 3/8. 
Signed Hasui; red seal, decorative form only.  Left margin: the Japanese title; and the date, “Showa Go Nen Saku” (Made in the 5th Year of Showa (1930).  Right margin: copyright stamp of the publisher, Watanabe of Tokyo.  Blocks, 20; superimposed printings, 25; edition, 100.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #68
 Title The Nikko Highway
 日光街道 (Nikkō gaidō)
 Kawase Hasui (1883-1957)
Hasui 巴水
 Seal Kawase seal (see above)
 Publication Date 1930 original publication date
 Edition Lifetime impression with 6mm round "A"-type Watanabe publisher seal indicating post WWII printing. (For a full discussion of Watanabe publisher seals see "Watanabe Publisher Marks, Seals and Editions")
Watanabe Shōzaburō
Watanabe "A"-type seal (in use from approximately 1918-1924 and 1945-1957) reading (in katakana): 
ワタナベ Watanabe Shōzaburō
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - minor ink offsetting right margin; pinhole top left margin; pencil notation bottom margin "Nikko Hasui Kawase"
 Genre shin hanga (new prints)
 Format ōban tate-e
 H x W Paper 15 3/8 x 10 3/8 in. (39 x 26.4 cm)
 H x W Image 14 1/4 x 9 3/8 x in. (36.2 x 23.8 cm)
 Collections This Print Los Angeles County Museum of Art M.2003.67.110 (later edition with 6mm seal); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 50.2852 (unspecified edition but print shown has 6mm round publisher’s seal); The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo P00138-068 (unspecified edition but print shown has 6mm publisher’s seal); Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon MWJ51:K15 (seal not readable)
 Reference LiteratureCatalogue Raisonné: Kawase Hasui; The Complete Woodblock Prints, Brown, Kendall; Amy Reigle Newland, Amsterdam, Hotei Publishing, KIT Publishers, 2003, p.83, pl.211
Kawase Hasui and His Contemporaries: The Shin Hanga (New Print) Movement in Landscape Art, Irwin J. Patcher, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, 1986, p. 59, pl. 54
last revision: