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Nakamise Street Viewed from Niōmon Gate [Asakusa] #10 from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo in the Showa Era

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Nakamise Street Viewed from Niōmon Gate [Asakusa] (#10)

from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo

in the Showa Era

by Kishio Koizumi, 1931


IHL Cat. #882

About This Print

Number ten 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 we look out from Niōmon Gate (Hozomon Gate) towards bustling Nakamise Shopping Street.  The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo titles this print, in English, Kaminari Gate Street, Asakusa which is the gate at the other end of Nakamise Street. 

As noted by the artist (see "Artist's Annotations," below), the shops were destroyed during the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, but they were rebuilt in concrete in 1925. These were in their turn destroyed during the aerial bombing of Tokyo in 1945 and rebuilt after the end of the war.


Niōmon Gate Today

Source: Guide to Senso-ji's Halls http://www.senso-ji.jp/guide/hozomon_e.html

Hozomon Gate (Niomon Gate)
According to Oei Engi, a chronicle written around the 15th or 16th century and the only source describing the establishment of Senso-ji, Hozomon Gate (known as the Niomon Gate when it was first erected), was built in 942 by military commander Taira no Kinmasa. He offered prayers at Senso-ji in hopes of becoming the lord of Musashi province (currently Tokyo and the surrounding areas), building the gate when his wishes were realized.

Later destroyed repeatedly by fire, the gate was rebuilt again and again. Though the design of the gate remained essentially the same from the end of the 12th century through the beginning of the 17th century, it was refurbished along with the Main Hall by third Edo shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu. The new gate was completed in December of 1649. In 1692, it was adorned with a plaque reading “Senso-ji,” which was created by Cloistered Prince Ryosho, a member of the royal family who was also the head priest of Manjuin, a prestigious temple of Kyoto. The gate survived for more than 250 years before it again burned down, this time in the World War II Tokyo air raids of March 1945.

The current gate was constructed with funds provided by Yonetaro Otani, founder of the Hotel New Otani, one of Tokyo's major hotels. Senso-ji's sanmon, a type of gate that stands in front of a temple's main hall, the Hozomon Gate features a triple-compartment internal structure. The top two compartments consist of storerooms, complete wth modern disaster-prevention equipment, to hold Senso-ji's treasures and Buddhist objects.


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:

“The statute of the Kannon Bodhisattva survived the earthquake, but only a few of the shops on Nakamise remained.”

Other Impressions - Reference Images for this Print

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo P00131-003
The Izumi 泉 character appears above the artist's name in the lower right of the image
and there are minor variances in the information contained in the right margin.


Print Details
 IHL Catalog  #882
 Title  Nakamise Street Viewed from Niōmon Gate [Asakusa]
 浅草=観音二王門ヨリ仲見世へ - Kanji title 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
 #10 (artist's annotated portfolio list from c. 1940 and as hand written and printed in right margin as 第十景, "10th view")
 Artist
 Koizumi Kishio (1893-1945)
 Signature
Kisio Koziumi impressed in lower right of image;
小泉癸巳男 pencil signed in lower right margin
 Seal  
 Publication Date  February 1931 (六年二月制作 as hand written and printed in right 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 and soiling
 Miscellaneous  inscriptions along right margin read:
昭和東京風景版画百図絵頒布画 第十景
六年二月制作番 号
小泉癸巳男 [Koizumi Kishio]
 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  The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo P00131-003; British Museum 2004,0416,0.2; The Wolfsonian at Florida International University TD1993.69.1.112
 Reference Literature Tokyo: The Imperial Capital Woodblock prints by Koizumi Kishio, 1928-1940, Marianne Lamonaca, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, 2004, p. 94.

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