Home‎ > ‎Artists‎ > ‎Maekawa Senpan (1888-1960)‎ > ‎

Tsuta Onsen from the series More, More and More Hot Spring Notes

White Plum from the book Nihon no Hana
 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Tsuta Onsen

from the series More, More and More Hot Spring Notes

by Maekawa Senpan, 1956

White Plum from the book Nihon no Hana


IHL Cat. #1159

About This Print

From Senpan's fourth set of prints picturing Japanese onsens.  This print depicts the bus, or auto, stop outside of Tsuda onsen with the sign reading 國鉄自動車 ったおんせん. [National Railway bus stop or auto stop (in Kanji), Tsuda onsen (in hiragana)].

The spa-goers stand, looking perplexed, at the sign.

 
Japan Railways bus stop
 
Tsuda onsen today

About the Series Hot Spring Notes

One of his most famous series of prints, Hot Spring Notes (Hanga yokusen fu), depicts various hot springs around Japan. It was published in five volumes of twenty prints each, with each print having an accompanying commentary sheet (see example below), over an 18 year period, starting in 1941 when Maekawa was evacuated to Okayama in southwest Honshu and ending in 1959.


Merritt states that most of the prints were started during the war but could not be published until the war was over.  She notes that although his countrymen are depicted at one of their favorite pastimes, spa going for rest and relaxation, "the feeling is not joyous," due to Maekawa's use of somber colors.1  The general demeanor of the spa goers is also somber in many of the prints. 

However, writing in 1955, Oliver Statler found Senpan's spa prints "some of his pleasantest prints" and praised Senpan's "connoisseur's selection from the country's hundreds of hot spring resorts."2

In 1954 the publisher Ryūseikaku 竜星閣 released a volume containing full size reproductions of the sixty woodblock prints contained in the first three volumes.

1 Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints - The Early Years, Helen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1998, p. 221.
2 "Modern Japanese Creative Prints," Oliver Statler, appearing in Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 11, No. 2 (July, 1955), Sophia University, p. 27. 

A Listing of All the Prints in the Five Sets

Source: Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, Helen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1992, p. 253-255.  Photos of volume covers and selected pages from the website https://blog.bunsei.co.jp/2010/09/07/%E7%89%88%E7%94%BB%E9%9B%86%E3%83%BB%E6%B5%B4%E6%B3%89%E8%AD%9C-%E5%89%8D%E5%B7%9D%E5%8D%83%E5%B8%86/

Woodblock Prints, Hot Spring Notes  (版画 浴泉譜 Hanga yokusen fu), 1941 by Shimo Tarō of Aoi Shobō. This, the first of a series, contains 20 prints (each about 21 x 21 cm) of different spas and large bathing pools. Sekino Jun'ichirō, who was working for Shimo Tarō at the time, carved some of the color blocks in Maekawa's style because Maekawa fell ill shortly before the scheduled publication date.


 1. Lake Tōya  11. Ikaho
 2. Jōzan-kei  12. Hoshi
 3. Akay-yu  13. Shima
 4. Togatta  14. Tokura
 5. Aone  15. Kamisuwa
 6. Matsu-no-yama  16. Nozawa
 7. Nikkō Yunomoto  17. Bessho
 8. Kuronagi  18. Izusan
 9. Kawaji  19. Tohi
 10. Nashiki  20. Sikinejima

edition size 150

More Woodblock Prints, Hot Spring Notes (版画 浴泉譜 Zoku hanga yokusen fu), 1944. This second album of Yokusen fu was self-published probably because of wartime shortages. Note that only 40 copies of this volume were made.

 
 1. Aizu-yu-no-ue  11. Yubara Sunafuku
 2. Kazawa  12. Yunotsu
 3. Shimogamo  13. Beppu Umijigoku
 4. Shibuya Andai  14. Shibaseki
 5. Kutsukake  15. Aso
 6. Yamada  16. Tochi no ki
 7. Asama  17. Yu-no-ko
 8. Kanetsuri  18. Unzen
 9. Misasa  19. Kirishima
 10. Okutsu Ōtsuri  20. Ibusuki

edition size 100


More and More Woodblock Prints, Hot Spring Notes (版画 浴泉譜 Zoku zoku hanga yokusen fu), 1952. This set and the two following bear the imprint of Nihon Aishokai, the name of Shimo Tarō's company after he moved to Okayama prefecture.


 1. Kamikōchi  11. Ryūjin
 2. Naka-no-yu  12. Shirahama
 3. Shirahone  13. Ume
 4. Hiraya  14. Koshi-no-yu
 5. Wakura  15. Urashima
 6. Yuwaku  16. Yu-no-mine
 7. Yamashiro  17. Kawayu
 8. Yamanaka  18. Ki-no-saki
 9. Katayamatsu   19. Yumura
 10. Ashihara  20. Tōgō

edition size 40


More, More, and More Woodblock Prints, Hot Spring Notes (版画 浴泉譜 Zoku, zoku, zoku yokusen fu), 1956, published by Nihon Aishokai.

 
 1. Konbu  11. Obara
 2. Noboribetsu  12. Iizaka
 3. Yu-no-kawa  13. Tsuchiya
 4. Asamushi  14. Iwashiro Atami
 5. Tsuta  15. Hagahsiyama
 6. Ōsawa  16. Semi
 7. Onikōbe  17. Hijiori
 8. Sakunami  18. Yu-no-hama
 9. Naruko  19. Senami
 10. Kamasaki  20. Takase

edition size 80


More, More, More, and More Woodblock Prints, Hot Spring Notes (版画 浴泉譜 Zoku, zoku, zoku, zoku hanga yokusen fu), 1959, published by Nihon Aishokai.

 
 1. Akan  11. Gaga
 2. Kawayu  12. Yahata
 3. Onneyu  13. Itamura
 4. Shimofuro  14. Shiobara
 5. Ōwani  15. Kiga
 6. Dake  16. Yumoto
 7. Ochai  17. Kowakudani
 8. Sugaya  18. Ubako
 9. Yuze  19. Shuzenji
 10. Ōyu  20. Atami

edition size 80


Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #1159
 Title/Description  Tsuta Onsen 蔦温泉 つたおんせん [title as printed on adjoining sheet]
 Series  More, More and More Hot Spring Notes (続 続 続 浴泉譜 Zoku, zoku, zoku yokusen fu)
 Artist 
 Maekawa Senpan (1888-1960)
 Signature 
 not signed (None of the prints in this series are signed or sealed.)
 Seal
 not sealed
 Publication Date  1956
 Publisher  Nihon Aishokai 日本愛書会 
 Note: Nihon Aishokai was owned by Shimo Tarō.  The firm's oirignal name was  Aoi Shobō アオイ
書房 and it was renamed Nihon Aishokai after moving to Okayama during WWII.
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent 
 Miscellaneous  
 Genre  sosaku hanga (creative prints)
 Format  
 H x W Paper  15 3/8 x 11 1/2 in. (39.1 x 29.2 cm )
 H x W Image  8 1/4 x 8 5/16 in. (21 x 21.1 cm)  
 Collections This Print  
last revision:
11/30/2018
Comments