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

Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874-1964)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Kannonshō-ji (temple 32)

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

by Nakazawa Hiromitsu, 1946 (orig. 1925)

Illustrated Account of the Sino-Japanese War, Volume 7

IHL Cat. #1856

About This Print

Sources: "The Senses, the Path, and the Bus A Sensory Ethnography of the Saigoku Pilgrimage",  Paolo Barbaro, appearing in Traditiones, 36/1, 2007, p. 87-111.

Kannonshō-ji sits near the top of Mt. Kinugasa overlooking Lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture and is the 32nd temple on the Saigoku Kannon pilgrimage. Nakazawa chooses to show us a single pilgrim with his traveling pack and staff lying next to him holding a set of prayer beads. In 1993 much of the temple burned down, but today the reconstruction is complete.

The main enshrined image (honzon) of the temple is the bodhisattva Kannon, Senjūsengen Jūichimen.

The goeika, or temple song/prayer, of Kannonshō-ji goes:
Spring flowers, Autumn leaves, change the colors, I want to learn the Land of Buddha.

Kannonshō-ji Principal Enshrined Deity
image source: https://f.hatena.ne.jp/funaman/20130601130830

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
 Title or Description Kannonshō-ji 観音正寺 (temple 32)
 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)
 not signed
 Seal of the artist
弘 Hiro
 Publication Date 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
 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 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. 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.
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition fair - paper wrinkling along top 2 inches of print; paper fraying long top margin and tear along top of left margin, repaired with paper tape from verso; paper loss top right corner.
 Genre shin hanga; shasei kikō (sketch-tour)
 Format horizontal oban
 H x W Paper 
 9 x 12 in. (22.9 x 30.5 cm) 
 H x W Image
 8 1/2 x 11 9/16 in. (21.6 x 29.4 cm)
 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:
1/5/2020 created