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Pagoda of Tennōji Temple at Shitaya, Yanaka from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo in the Showa Era

Pond at Zenpukuji Temple in Suginami #79 from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo in the Showa Era

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Pagoda of Tennōji Temple at Shitaya, Yanaka (#78)

from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo

in the Showa Era

by Kishio Koizumi, 1936

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

IHL Cat. #1909

About This Print

Number seventy-eight 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 main road leading into the Yanaka cemetary and the five-story Tennōji pagoda that once stood there.  A woman with baby and young child, a peddler and a figure dressed in a light blue kimono walk along.  The pagoda which survived the 1923 earthquake and the allied bombing was burnt down in 1957.

Source: Tokyo: The Imperial Capital Woodblock prints by Koizumi Kishio, 1928-1940,Marianne Lamonaca, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, 2004, p. 76.

"This five-story pagoda, located in Yanaka cemetery, was another important symbol of survival in Tokyo.  In 1868 it endured the last battle between those loyal to the Tokugawa shogunate and the new Meiji government, and in 1923 it withstood the earthquake. [However, see "Tennōji Pagoda - Double Suicide by Fire" below.] The main road leading to the cemetery was (and still is) a famous place for viewing cherry blossoms." 

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:

“In the middle of the Yanaka cemetery stands a five-story pagoda made of plain, unpainted wood.”

 

Other Impression

click on image to enlarge
The Wolfsonian at Florida International University TD1993.69.1.18
This impression (likely earlier than this collection's print) is dated "1936" below the artist's signature; uses different coloration and contains the below information in the right column absent from this collection's print
昭和大東京百図絵 版画完制判 第十一年 五月作 七十八景 小泉癸巳男
[series title followed by a date of May 1936, followed by the print's number in the series, followed by artist's name] 


Tennōji Pagoda Double Suicide by Fire

Source: website of Japan Visitor https://www.japanvisitor.com/japan-temples-shrines/tennoji-tokyo#th

"A 35m, five-storied pagoda dating from the late eighteenth century used to stand on what were then the temple grounds but is now in Yanaka Cemetery. The pagoda was infamously burnt down in 1957 when a young seamstress and her older (married) lover committed suicide by setting themselves and the pagoda alight to atone for their adultery. Only the granite foundations now remain of what was once one of the largest pagodas in the Kanto area, in an unremarkable fenced off plot with a placard."


Pagoda prior to fire, on fire, remnants after fire, foundation today.


Print Details
 IHL Catalog  #1909
 Title  Pagoda of Tennōji Temple at Shitaya, Yanaka
 下谷・谷中天皇寺之塔 - 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
 #78 (artist's annotated portfolio list from c. 1940) 
 Artist 
 Koizumi Kishio (1893-1945)
 Signature 
Kisio Koziumi and 泉 (izumi) impressed in lower right of image
 Seal  
 Publication Date  originally April 1936.  This print does not carry a date.
 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 - minor toning and soiling along edge of margins; small tear right side of bottom margin; two pieces of mounting tape top corners verso
 Miscellaneous

 Genre  sosaku hanga (creative prints)
 Format  dai oban
 H x W Paper  15 3/8 x 12 in. (39.1 x 30.5 cm)
 H x W Image  14 5/8 x 11 in. (37.1 x 27.9 cm)
 Collections This Print  Edo-Tokyo Museum 95202907; The Wolfsonian at Florida International University TD1993.69.1.18; The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo P00131-034
 Reference Literature Tokyo: The Imperial Capital Woodblock prints by Koizumi Kishio, 1928-1940,Marianne Lamonaca, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, 2004, p. 76, plate 34.
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