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Gōtokuji Temple in Setagaya Ward #42 from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo in the Showa Era

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Gōtokuji Temple in Setagaya Ward (#42)

from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo

in the Showa Era

by Kishio Koizumi, 1933


IHL Cat. #883

About This Print

Number forty-two of the one hundred prints that make up the series Showa dai Tokyo hyakuzue (One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo During Showa).  Koizumi started this series in 1928 and completed it twelve years later in 1940. In this print, Koizumi presents us with a view of the gardens surrounding Buddha Hall on the temple grounds of Gōtokuji, the Ii Clan's family temple, where, as is noted by Koizumi (see "artist's Annotations" below), the assassinated Ii Naosuke, Tairō to the Tokugawa Shogun Tokugawa Iesada, is buried.


Gōtokuji Buddha Hall recent photo

Source: Tokyo: The Imperial Capital Woodblock prints by Koizumi Kishio, 1928-1940, Marianne Lamonaca, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, 2004, p.29.
There are two references in Koizumi's notes to Ii Naosuke.  It was Ii who, in 1858, concluded treaties with the United States and various European nations (referred to by some as "unequal treaties" because they did not leave Japan in a position of strength).  And it was Ii who chose a Tokugawa shogunal successor over the protests of loyalists who sought an imperial restoration.  Ii imprisoned, and in some cases ordered the execution of, members of the anti-foreign and imperial loyalist factions who worked to reverse his decisions.  On 24 March 1860 he was assassinated at Sakurada Gate, the southern entrance to the Imperial Palace, by masterless samurai formerly of the Mito clan, a group that strongly opposed Ii's unilaterally conceived policies.  Within Koizumi's one hundred views is a scene of the Buddhist temple Gōtokuji, which is noted by Koizumi as the grave site of Ii Naosuke.  Then Koizumi offers a print showing the Sakurada Gate from a vantage point south-west of the gate.  [Reference this collection's print Snow at Sakurada Gate.]  A heavy snow is falling, and in his notes, Koizumi wonders whether snow was falling on the day that Ii was assassinated.

Artist's Annotation

Source: MIT Visualizing Cultures website http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027/tokyo_modern_02/annotation.html

In 1940, Koizumi created woodblock print charts containing print titles, dates, and comments for this series.  His comment for this print follows:

“This is the burial place of Lord Ii who was killed at Sakuradamon. It is also famous for a literal mountain of cat statues.”

Gōtukuji Temple

Source: website of Virtual Tourist members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/218ea4/
"Gotokuji temple, a Soto-sect zen temple in Setagaya-ku, is best known by the legend of Manekineko better known as "lucky cats" or "beckoning cats". It was originally built in 1480 in a part of Setagaya castle ruled by Kira clan. After the temple got ruined after the castle was abandoned during early 17th century Ii Naomasa, the lord of Hikone Castle and had governed former Kira clan areas, decided to rebuilt the temple buildings and expanded the temple premises to the large part of former Setagaya castle. The popular legends say that Naomasa Ii was beckoned into the temple by the cat when the thundershower was about to strike the Naosuke Ii and his men. Nearly hit by the lightening and enjoyed talking with the head priest of the temple, Naomasa decided to rebuild the temple as the place for their family grave. Since then Gotokuji cat has been revered as the deity of bringing luck. The cat figurines production may have started around mid 19th century when having a cat figurine as a lucky charm became popular among yukaku dancers."


Print Details
 IHL Catalog  #883
 Title  Gōtokuji Temple in Setagaya Ward
 世田ケ谷区・豪徳寺 - Kanji title upper left margin
 Series  One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo in the Showa Era
 Showa dai Tokyo hyakuzue 昭和大東京百図絵 
 Reference Number
 #42 (artist's annotated portfolio list from c. 1940 and as hand written and printed in left margin as 第四十二景, "42nd view")
 Artist
 Koizumi Kishio (1893-1945)
 Signature
Kisio Koziumi impressed in lower right of image;
小泉癸巳男 pencil signed in lower left margin
 Seal  
 Publication Date  October 1933 (八年十月制作 as hand written and printed in left margin)
 Edition  unknown
 Publisher  likely self-published; some sources list publisher as Asahi Press (see "The Publisher of the Series" under the artist's bio Koizumi Kishio.)
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - light wrinkling, toning and soiling
 Miscellaneous inscriptions along left margin read:
世田ケ谷区・豪徳寺
昭和大東京風景版画百圖絵頒布画 第四十二景
八年十月制作
小泉癸巳男
 Genre  sosaku hanga (creative prints)
 Format  dai oban
 H x W Paper  11 5/8 x 16 in. (29.5 x 40.6 cm)
 H x W Image  10 7/8 x 14 3/8 x in. (27.6 x 36.5 cm)
 Collections This Print  Edo Tokyo Museum 95202872; The Wolfsonian at Florida International University TD1993.69.1.62and .63
 Reference Literature Tokyo: The Imperial Capital Woodblock prints by Koizumi Kishio, 1928-1940, Marianne Lamonaca, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, 2004, p. 30, 96.


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