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Zensetsū temple, Sanshū from the series Collection of Scenic Views of Japan II, Kansai edition

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Zensetsū temple, Sanshū

from the series Collection of Scenic Views of Japan II, Kansai edition

by Kawase Hasui, 1937



IHL Cat. #289

About This Print

Source: Honolulu Academy of Arts http://art.honoluluacademy.org/emuseum/view/objects/asitem/9/542/primaryMaker-asc?t:state:flow=eb6afd69-6ec4-4fdd-bd4c-f50ecb860eeb
This print shows the temple of Zentsūji in Shikoku, an important pilgrimage site closely connected with the influential Heian-period Buddhist monk Kūkai, who brought the esoteric teachings of the Shingon sect from China, and established this temple in 807. Like his 19th century predecessor Hiroshige, Hasui was well known for his use of atmospheric effects such as rain and mist, and this is a typical composition for the artist depicting the pagoda of Zentsūji on a rainy day.

Catalog Raisonné Entry

Source: Kawase Hasui; The Complete Woodblock Prints,
Kendall Brown, Amy Reigle Newland, Amsterdam, Hotei Publishing, KIT Publishers, 2003, p. 101.
The Zensetsū temple in present-day Kagawa prefecture represents the 75th of the eighty-eight temples on the Shikoku pilgrimage route.  The pilgrimage originated with Kōbō Daishi (Kūkai, 774-835), who founded the Shingon sect of Buddhism and in 813 the Zensetsū temple.  Narazaki remarks that “The slightly bent gradient of the temple roof is felt in this print… The composition is complex; it attempts to set up a perspective with the overlay of a stone lantern, Sanmon (main gate), pines, five-storied pagoda and visitors passing through the gate.”

 
Zensetsū temple today
 
Catalogue Raisonné
image and entry
334 Zensetsū temple, Sanshū
Series: Collection of scenic view of Japan II, Kansai edition
(Nihon fūkei shū II, Kansai hen, Sanshū Zensetsūji)

March 1937

Lack of Publisher's Seal
Source: Ukiyoe Gallery website http://www.ukiyoe-gallery.com/watasealpage1.htm
Special Note--"Missing" Watanabe Seals
We are often asked about Watanabe-published prints (and typically, it seems, those by artist Hasui) which appear to be totally "missing" their expected 6mm or 7mm seals. Actually, as it turns out, such "un-sealed" prints (hand-applied) are not at all uncommon from Watanabe Publisher. And perhaps this should not be a surprise, considering the popularity of Hasui's prints combined with his amazing lifetime output of some 550 images.

Having randomly examined several hundreds of these typically 1940's to 1960's era prints, it seems that about 1 in every 10 to 15 of these older prints that we handle from Watanabe seem to be entirely missing any publisher's seal--either in the print's margins or within the image. Sometimes, however, one does have to look very closely to locate the small, black, round 6mm seal--as it can be very difficult to see and is sometimes placed a bit higher in the image than one might normally expect.

In any case, these 6mm or 7mm seals are always hand-applied..... and it seems quite simply that Watanabe's staff occasionally forgot to do so. Although this can then make such a given print a bit more "difficult" to precisely date within a given time period, usually an "experienced eye" can still state with a "very high level of confidence" whether a print is of "6mm vintage" (that is, of the period 1946-57) based on an examination of the print's paper and aging, printing quality, block wear, and other factors (see related article on "Old Paper"). In the judgment of these authors, the absence of such a hand-applied seal does NOT or should not diminish the value of these randomly occurring and clearly older prints.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #289
 Title  Zensetsū temple, Sanshū
 讃州 善通寺 Sanshû Zentsū-ji
 Series  Collection of Scenic Views of Japan II, Kansai edition
 日本風景集II関西篇 Nihon fūkei shū II, Kansai hen, Sanshū Zensetsūji
 Catalogue Raisonné  Number 334 (as listed in the Kawase Hasui; The Complete Woodblock Prints)
 Artist
 Kawase Hasui (1883-1957)
 Signature
 Hasui
 Seal  Kawase
 Publication Date  March 1937 original publication date. 
 Edition  Unknown, but later lifetime impression without any Watanabe publisher seal.  (See "Lack of Publisher's Seal" above for discussion of missing Watanabe seals.)
 Publisher  Watanabe Shōzaburō
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent - two pin holes left margin
 Miscellaneous
 Genre  shin hanga (new prints); fûkei-ga
 Format  Oban tate-e
 H x W Paper  15 1/8 x 10 1/2 in. (38.4 x 25.2 cm)
 H x W Image  14 1/4 x 9 1/2 x in. (36.2 x 24.1 cm)
 Collections This Pri nt  Harvard Art Museum 1984.270 (unspecified edition); Los Angeles County Museum of Art M.2003.67.105 (later edition with 6mm seal); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 50.2895 (unspecified edition but print shown has no publisher’s seal); The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo P00138-044 (unspecified edition but print shown has 6mm publisher’s seal); Honolulu Academy of Arts 26633 (no seal)
 Reference Literature Catalogue Raisonné: Kawase Hasui; The Complete Woodblock Prints, Kendall Brown, Amy Reigle Newland, Amsterdam, Hotei Publishing, KIT Publishers, 2003, p.459, pl.334
Kawase Hasui and His Contemporaries: The Shin Hanga (New Print) Movement in Landscape Art, Irwin J. Patcher, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, 1986, p. 72, pl. 83

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