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Yoshimine-dera from the Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces

Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874-1964)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Yoshimine-dera (temple 20)

from the Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces

by Nakazawa Hiromitsu, 1925 and 1946

Illustrated Account of the Sino-Japanese War, Volume 7


IHL Cat. #2319 (1925 release)

IHL Cat. #2413.28
(from the complete 1925 album of prints IHL Cat. #2413)

IHL Cat. #2251 (1946 release)

About This Print

Founded in 1029, Yoshimine-dera is the 20th temple on the Saigoku Kannon pilgrimage. A temple of the Tendai school of Buddhism it is located in the western hills of Kyoto overlooking the city. Founded by the Ōbaku monk Gensan (1629-1709) it was destroyed in the Onin War in 1467. The temple was to remain in ruins for two centuries until the end of the 17th century, when Keishōin (1627-1705), the mother of the fifth Tokugawa shogun, sponsored its rebuilding. Many of the present temple buildings date from this time. The main image of the temple is a statue of thousand-armed Kannon. It is famous for its 600-year-old white pine tree known as the "Gliding Dragon" whose horizontal branches once stretched over 150 feet.

The main enshrined image (honzon) of the temple is the bodhisattva Kannon Senju Sengen.

Nakazawa presents us with a view of a thick horizontal branch of the Yōryu no matsu pine tree in the foreground with the roof of the temple building behind it and, in the background, the hills of Nishiyama.

Yōryu no matsu - "Gliding Dragon" pine

Comparison of 1925 and 1946 Issues
This collection contains prints from both the 1925 and 1946 releases. I prefer the earlier release which has a more painterly quality, likely closer to the artist's original drawing the print was based upon.

The two editions (1925 left, 1946 right) show significant differences suggesting either
extensive touching-up of the original blocks or newly carved blocks.

The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage (Saigoku sanjūsansho junrei) 
Sources: website of cultural anthropologist Martin Gray http://www.taleofgenji.org/saigoku_pilgrimage.html and "Buddhist Pilgrim/Buddhist Exile: Old and New Images of Retired Emperor Kazan in the Saigoku Kannon Temple Guidebooks," Mark MacWilliams, appearing in History of Religions, May, 1995, Vol. 34, No. 4, The University of Chicago Press,  p. 303-328.

Japan's most famous pilgrimage, originating in the 11th century, encompasses 33 Buddhist temples in Western Japan (Kansai region) dedicated to Kannon (bodhisattva Avalokitasvara), the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who hears the cries of the world and assists anyone in distress.

The 33 temples on the approximately 1,000 kilometer pilgrimage route correspond to Kannon's ability to take on 33 different forms. One hundred thousand pilgrims navigate the route in its entirety or part each year.

Note: For a listing of all 33 temples go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saigoku_Kannon_Pilgrimage. To access an interactive map of the route and its temples go to https://www.thetempleguy.org/p/saigoku-33-kannon-route.html and scroll down towards the bottom of the page.

About the "Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces" 

First issued in 1925 and reprinted in 1946, the 1925 album contains 58 prints and the 1946 album 59 prints. For detailed discussion of the two editions and additional information on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage see this site's article Nakazawa Hiromitsu - Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces.

Nakazawa Hiromitsu - Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces
click on the image to go to the article

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #2319 (1925 release), #2413.28 and #2251 (1946 release)
 Title or Description  Yoshimine-dera (temple 20)
 善峯寺 (二十) [also seen written as 善寺]
 Series  Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces
 西国三十三所巡礼画巻 Saigoku sanjūsansho junrei gakan
 Artist  Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874-1964)
 Signature
IHL Cat. #2319 and #2413.28 (1925 release): 中澤弘光 [Nakazawa Hiromitsu] printed in lower right margin as shown left

IHL Cat. #2251 (1946 release): not signed
 Seal of the artist
IHL Cat. #2319 and #2413.28
(1925 release)
弘 Hiro
IHL Cat. #2251
(1946 release)
弘 Hiro
 Publication Date  IHL Cat. #2319 and #2413.28: June 15, 1925 大正十四年六月十五日発行 舞鶴要塞可令部検閲済 [As printed in the right margin of this collection's 1925 print Matsunoo-dera IHL Cat. #2245, the only print in the album that carries a date. The date is followed by an inscription indicating the print was inspected and approved by the authorities at the Maizuru Fort Headquarters, 舞鶴要塞可令部検閲済 (Maizuru Fort Headquarters Inspection Approval). Note that the date of publication on the colophon accompanying the complete 1925 album is September 28, 1925 大正十四年九月十八日発行.]

 IHL Cat. #2251: January 18, 1946 昭和二十一年一月十八日発行 [Individual prints in the 1946 release are not dated. This date taken from a 1946 album colophon.] 
 Publisher  發行者 金尾種次郎 publisher Kanao Tanejirō
 發兌元 金尾文淵堂 publishing house Kanao Bun'endō

IHL Cat. #2319 and #2413.28 (1925 release): 文淵堂版 [Bun'endō han] printed in lower right margin as shown left

IHL Cat. #2251 (1946 release): no publisher seal
 Carver  Okada Seijirō 岡田清次郎 and Ōkura Fujitarō (Ōkura Tōtarō?) 大倉藤太郎
 Note on carvers: the above information is taken from the detailed information in the ADEAC system for the 1925 release. While the printer Okada is well known, the second listed printer 大倉藤太郎 is not and I can find no information on him.
 Printer  IHL Cat. #2319 and #2413.28 (1925 release): Nishimura Kumakichi 西村熊吉 and
Yamagata Hidesuki? 山県秀助

 IHL Cat. #2251 (1946 release): Nishimura Kumakichi 西村熊吉 and
Takagi Seikō (Kiyomitsu?) 高木淸光

Note on the printers: the above information is taken from the colophon included in the 1946 release and the detailed information in the ADEAC system for the 1925 release. As to the printer Nishimura Kumakichi, given as one of the printers for both the 1925 and 1946 release, there is some uncertainty about the date of his death, although a birth date, either 1861 or 1862 [Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints, Merritt, p. 223], is generally accepted. A death date of 1941 is sometimes given and 1955 has been suggested, but Merritt provides no date of death. If he truly did the printing for the 1946 release he would have been 85 at that time. I could find no information on the second printer listed for the 1946 release 高木淸光, nor for the printer 山県秀助 listed as the second printer for the 1925 release. 
 Impression  IHL Cat. #2319 (1925 release): excellent 
 IHL Cat. #2413.28 (1925 release: excellent
 IHL Cat. #2251 (1946 release): excellent
 Colors  IHL Cat. #2319 (1925 release): excellent
 IHL Cat. #2413.28 (1925 release: excellent
 IHL Cat. #2251 (1946 release): excellent
 Condition  IHL Cat. #2319 (1925 release): good - light overall toning; light printing residue upper left corner of image; brown marks mainly upper left of image
 IHL Cat. #2413.28 (1925 release): good - light overall toning; pin hole bottom left margin; minor soiling; residue upper left corner of image; brown marks mainly upper left of image  
 IHL Cat. #2251 (1946 release): excellent - mounting residue three place along top verso
 Genre  shin hanga; shasei kikō (sketch-tour)
 Miscellaneous
temple/print number 20 appearing in the right margin of the 1925 release
 Format  horizontal oban
 H x W Paper 
 IHL Cat. #2319 (1925 release): 10 1/8 x 15 1/4 in. (25.7 x 38.7 cm)
 IHL Cat. #2413.28 (1925 release): 10 1/8 x 15 1/4 in. (25.7 x 38.7 cm)
 IHL Cat. #2251 (1946 release): 9 5/8 x 13 3/4 in. (24.4 x 34.9 cm)
 H x W Image
 IHL Cat. #2319 (1925 release): 8 1/2 x 11 9/16 (21.6 x 29.4 cm)
 IHL Cat. #2413.28 (1925 release): 8 1/2 x 11 9/16 (21.6 x 29.4 cm)
 IHL Cat. #2251 (1946 release): 8 1/2 x 11 1/2 in. (21.6 x 29.2 cm)
 Literature   
 Collections This Print
 National Diet Library Call Number 寄別7-8-2-5 (1925 album, no images displayed); National Library Board, Singapore BRN:9854371 (entire 1946 album, no images shown); British Library System number: 017018582 (entire 1946 album, no images shown)Harvard Yenching Library HOLLIS number 990082993710203941 (1925 album, no images displayed)

last revision:
1/25/2020
12/20/2020
7/4/2020
6/30/2020
2/22/2020
1/6/2020 created
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