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

Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874-1964)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Nakayama-dera (temple 24)

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. #2243 (1925)

IHL Cat. #2413.32
(from the complete 1925 album of prints IHL Cat. #2413)

IHL Cat. #1855 (1946)

About This Print


Nakayama depicts a line of Jizō bodhisattvas, protector of children, within the temple grounds, with small offerings on the ledge beneath them.1 

On December 1923, only a few months after the Great Kantō Earthquake devastated the Tokyo area, Nakazawa along with his two friends, the poet Ishikura Suiyō and the artist Akatsuka Chūichi, began their pilgrimage to the thirty-three temples comprising the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage, taking seventy-eight days to complete the route.


1 Jizō is a protector of children, especially those who died before hearing the teachings of the Buddha.  Many folktales describe how Jizō protects such children from the cruel demon  messengers from hell. 

The Temple

Source: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakayama-dera and and Japanese Buddhist Art in Context: The Saikoku Kannon Pilgrimage Route, Volume 1, a dissertation by Patricia Frame Rugola, The Ohio State University, 1986, p. 88-89. 

Nakayama-dera, located in Takarazuka, Hyogo prefecture, is the 24th temple on the Saigoku Kannon pilgrimage and the oldest Kannon sacred site in Japan. The temple's official history recorded that the temple was founded by Prince Shotoku in the 6th century in order to calm the spirits of adversaries whom he defeated in battle. It is one of the most popular temples in the region. Today’s buildings of this temple were mainly built by Toyotomi Hideyori in the 17th century.

Couples come here to pray for an easy childbirth and the well-being of their unborn child. 

The main enshrined image (honzon) of the temple is the bodhisattva Kannon Jūichimen and it is said to date from the reign of Emperor Saga (r. 809-823).



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) 

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
 #2243 and #2413.32  (1925 releases) and #1855 (1946 release)
 Title or Description  Nakayama-dera (temple 24)
 中山寺 (二十四)
 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. #2243 and #2413.32 (1925 releases): 中澤弘光 [Nakazawa Hiromitsu] printed in lower right margin as shown left

IHL Cat. #1855 (1946 release): not signed
 Seal of the artist
IHL Cat. #2243 and #2413.32
(1925 releases)
弘 Hiro
IHL Cat. #1855
(1946 release)
弘 Hiro
 Publication Date  IHL Cat. #2243 and #2413.32: Published September 28, 1925 大正十四年九月十八日発行 as printed in the 1925 album's colophon (see Album Box with Print of Kannon IHL Cat. #2413).
Note: an earlier date of June 15, 1925 大正十四年六月十五日 appears in the right margin of the print titled Matsunoo-dera [IHL Cat. #2245], the only print in the 1925 album which carries a date. This earlier date, however, is the date that the censor's approval was obtained, as further explained on this site's web page for Matsunoo-dera, rather than the publishing date.

 IHL Cat. #1855: 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. #2243 and 2413.32 (1925 releases): 文淵堂版 [Bun'endō han] printed in lower right margin as shown left

IHL Cat. #1855 (1946 release): no publisher seal
 Carver  Okada Seijirō 岡田清次郎
Note: the album's colophon (see Album Box with Print of Kannon IHL Cat. 2413) lists two carvers, the above well-known Okada Seijirō and 大倉藤太郎, possibly read Okura Tōtarō, who I can find no information on. 
 Printer  IHL Cat. #2243 and #2413,32 (1925 releases):  Nishimura Kumakichi 西村熊吉
Note: the colophon for the 1925 album (see Album Box with Print of Kannon IHL Cat. 2413) lists three printers, the above well-known Nishmura Kumakichi; 山県秀助, possibly read Yamagata Hidesuki, who I can find no information on, and 松本兄弟堂, a company founded in Osaka by Matsumoto Kisaburō 松本喜三郎 in 1923, which I believe did the letterpress printing. 

 IHL Cat. #1855 (1946 release): Nishimura Kumakichi 西村熊吉 and
Takagi Seikō (Takagi Kiyomitsu?) 高木淸光
Note: the above information is taken from the colophon included in the 1946 release. I could find no information on the second printer listed for the 1946 release 高木淸光.

Note on Nishimura Kumakichi: listed 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 around 85 at that time. 
 Impression  IHL Cat. #2243 (1925 release): excellent 
 IHL Cat. #2413.32 (1925 release): excellent
 IHL Cat. #1855 (1946 release): excellent
 Colors  IHL Cat. #2243 (1925 release): excellent 
 IHL Cat. #2413.32 (1925 release): excellent
 IHL Cat. #1855 (1946 release): excellent
 Condition  IHL Cat. #2243 (1925 release): excellent - minor soiling bottom margin center
 IHL Cat. #2413.32 (1925 release): fair - red offset stain right side of print bridging image and margin; soiling right margin; diagonal fold upper right to top center
 IHL Cat. #1855 (1946 release): excellent - mounting residue three place along top verso
 Genre  shin hanga; shasei kikō (sketch-tour)
 Miscellaneous
temple/print number 24 appearing in the right margin of the 1925 release
 Format  horizontal oban
 H x W Paper 
 IHL Cat. #2243 (1925 release): 10 1/8 x 15 1/4 in. (25.7 x 38.7 cm)
 IHL Cat. #2413.32 (1925 release): 10 1/8 x 15 1/4 in. (25.7 x 38.7 cm)
 IHL Cat. #1855 (1946 release): 8 7/8 x 12 in. (22.5 x 30.5 cm) 
  
 H x W Image
 IHL Cat. #2243 (1925 release): 8 7/16 x 11 7/16 in. (21.4 x 29.1 cm)
 IHL Cat. #2413.32 (1925 release): 8 7/16 x 11 7/16 in. (21.4 x 29.1 cm)
 IHL Cat. #1855: (1946 release): 8 3/8 x 11 3/8 in. (21.3 x 28.9 cm)
 Literature   Nakazawa Hiromitsu kenkyū: Hon karano kenshō, Hiromitsu Nakazawa, Mitsunobu Satō, et. al., Mitsui Kōkei, Tokyo, 2006, p. 46-48.
 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:
1/27/2021
12/20/2020
7/4/2020
2/22/2020
1/5/2020 created
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