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Snow at Sakurada Gate #75 from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo in the Showa Era

Landscape at Nerima Ward #73 from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo in the Showa Era

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Snow at Sakurada Gate (#75)

from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo

in the Showa Era

by Kishio Koizumi, 1936

Hirakawa Gate in the Spring Rain #77 from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo in the Showa Era
IHL Cat. #163

About This Print

Number seventy-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.

This print does not have the series title printed in the margin, as do the images below.  The post-printing application of gofun for the snow varies from print to print, due to its application by hand.  The series number of the print is printed on the verso, which was done on some prints in the series and not on others.


Source: Tokyo: The Imperial Capital Woodblock prints by Koizumi Kishio, 1928-1940, Marianne Lamonaca, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, 2004, p.75
Koizumi had several reasons for choosing this view.  The Sakurada Gate, an important gateway into the Imperial Palace grounds, was the site of several political calamities.  The artist noted in his portfolio that this was the site of Li Naosuke’s assassination in 1860.  Li Naosuke (Lord of Hikone) had been a minister to the shogun.  During Koizumi’s time two other important events transpired on the site.  On 8 January 1932 an abortive assassination attempt was made on Emperor Hirohito.  And on 26 February 1936 a group of army officers initiated a military coup; during the four-day uprising several senior statesmen were killed.  Japan was becoming increasingly fanatical about its imperial legacy, and this site reinforced the importance of the survival of the emperor.

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:

“I wonder if it was snowing like this when Foreign Minister Ii was assassinated by loyal samurai from Mito?”  (The reference is to the March 24, 1860 assassination of Ii Naosuke (1815-1860) by seventeen samurai from Mito.)

Other Impressions - Reference Images for this Print

 
 Series number stamped verso
 

Sakurada Gate in Snow (No.75 of "One Hundred Scenes from Tokyo Metropolis
in the Showa Period")
1934* color woodcut on paper   28.4×37.9
1960   P00131-024
(*note incorrect date of publication)
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
 
Image from Artelino website archive
This is the same printing/edition
as shown in the
Wolfsonian catalog, plate 33.


Sakurada Gate Today


Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #163
 Title  Snow at Sakurada Gate
 桜田門の雪
 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
 #75 (artist's annotated portfolio list from c. 1940)
 Artist
 Koizumi Kishio (1893-1945)
 Signature
 Koizumi Kishio (Roman letters) and Izumi 泉 in image
 Seal  
 Publication Date  February 1936
 Edition  unknown edition.  Plate in Wolfsonian catalog has series title in right margin and the year "1936" below the artist's signature.  This print lacks those items.  This print has the number 75 stamped verso (see below photo.)
 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 - thinning to margin edges and overall toning
 Miscellaneous
 Genre  sosaku hanga (creative prints)
 Format  dai oban
 H x W Paper  11 7/8 x 15 1/2 in. (30.2 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 P00131-024; Wolfsonian-Florida International University TD1993.69.1.25 and TD1993.69.1.26

 Reference Literature Tokyo: The Imperial Capital Woodblock prints by Koizumi Kishio, 1928-1940, Marianne Lamonaca, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, 2004. p. 75, plate 33.

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