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Silhouette of the New Diet Building #45 from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo in the Showa Era

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Silhouette of the New Diet Building (#45)

from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo

in the Showa Era

by Kishio Koizumi, 1934


IHL Cat. #870

About This Print

Number forty-five 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.  The New Diet Building, completed in 1936, is shown in silhouette while still under construction in 1934.

Source: Tokyo: The Imperial Capital Woodblock prints by Koizumi Kishio, 1928-1940, Marianne Lamonaca, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, 2004, p. 67.

"This is not only the largest building in Japan, but well rivals famous buildings in the rest of the world.  The new Capitol of the Empire of Japan stands majestically and stately with its outside work nearly completed." - Reconstruction of the Imperial City (1930)

In many of the prints in this portfolio, Koizumi not only juxtaposes old and new Tokyo, but also comments on Japan's expanding empire.  The new Diet Building was begun in January 1920 and was completed in time for the opening of the parliamentary session in the fall of 1936.  The chief architect of the building was Dr. Okuma Kiho (1877-?).  The building featured an eclectic mix of Asian architectural styles, a reference to Japan's expanding political aspirations in the Far East.

Koizumi chose his vantage point carefully: the view is looking up from the Sakurada Gate along the moat of the Imperial Palace toward the looming, still incomplete, new Diet building.  He purposefully includes the Army General Staff Headquarters building, which had formerly dominated this location and still presents an ominous and commanding presence, in order to reinforce the alliance between the army and the emperor.


(大東京) 白亜豪壮なる新国会議事堂全景 Magnificent New Parliamentary Building
帝国議事堂前 伊藤公銅像 The Bronze Statue of Prince Ito (greater Tokyo
Tokyo Metropolitan Library http://www.library.metro.tokyo.jp/portals/0/tokyo/chapter1/34_001.html

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:

“Late on a winter’s day the new diet building shimmers like a mirage in a golden haze.”

Other Impressions - Reference Images for this Print


New Diet Building (No.45 of "One Hundred Scenes from
Tokyo Metropolis in the Showa Period")
1934 color woodcut on paper, 28.3×37.5×4.0 cm
P00131-018 The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

New Diet Building - 100 Views of Great Tokyo in Showa
Artelino 
 
Shin Gijidô
(新議事堂) New Diet Building. No. 45 from the series One hundred pictures of great Tokyo in the Showa era, published in 1934. Paper size: 39.4 x 30.5 cm.

The New Diet Building, February 1934
Artist: Koizum Kishio
Accession: TD1993.69.1.59 Wolfsonian
Country: Japan Tokyo
Date: 1934
Dimensions: Inches 11-3/4 15-1/2, Centimeters 29.8 39.4


Print Details
 IHL Catalog  #870
 Title  Silhouette of the New Diet Building
 Shin Gijidō no kage 新議事堂の影 - Kanji title top 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
 #45 (artist's annotated portfolio list from c. 1940 and as hand written and printed in right margin as 四五景, yonjū-go kei, "45th view")
 Artist
 Koizumi Kishio (1893-1945)
 Signature
 Kisio Koziumi within oval in lower left of image
 Seal  
 Publication Date  February 1934 (九年 二月刷作 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 with possible fading
 Miscellaneous  right margin reads: 昭和新大東京風景版画百図絵画  九年? 四五景 二月刷作 
 Genre  sosaku hanga (creative prints)
 Format  dai oban
 H x W Paper  11 3/4 x 15 1/2 in. (29.8 x 39.4 cm)
 H x W Image  11 1/4 x 14 3/4 x in. (28.6 x 37.5 cm)
 Collections This Print  The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo P00131-018; British Museum 2004,0416,0.2; The Wolfsonian at Florida International University TD1993.69.1.59
 Reference Literature Tokyo: The Imperial Capital Woodblock prints by Koizumi Kishio, 1928-1940, Marianne Lamonaca, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, 2004, p. 67.

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