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Tokyo Tower from the series One Hundred Views of Tokyo: Message to the 21st Century

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Tokyo Tower

from the series One Hundred Views of Tokyo: Message to the 21st Century

by Takahashi Rikio, 1990


IHL Cat. #171

About This Print

This print Tokyo Tower was published by the Japan Print Association (Nihon Hanga Kyokai) as part of the series One Hundred Views of Tokyo, Message to the 21st CenturyThe Japan Print Association started this series in 1989 in which ten artists each year made scenes of Tokyo into a print. In 2000, they compiled ten volumes of the prints by all 100 artists.

The Artist's Comments on This Print

Source: Tokyo Message to 21st Century: Tokyo Hyakkei (One Hundred Views of Tokyo) - The Fifty Prints of The First Half - 1989-1993, Japan Print Association, 1994, p. 44.
The ancient capital of Kyō was moved to the east in 1868, and Kyō of the east was born: Tokyo (lit. the Eastern Kyō).  And now, for the purpose of leaving sights of that Tokyo behind, print artists have been asked for a work with that motif.  I chose Tokyo Tower.  The Tower was built likely as a symbol to uplift public sentiment after the crushing blow caused by the last war.  I had a keen emotion, such as "this again must be the authorities' adulation to the public."  That's why, though living near the Tower, I was unwilling to visit there.  However, seeing today's Tokyo Tower gracefully lighten-up against the night sky, I sensed that I have gradually changed my mind.  One day, seduced by the light, I visited the Tower, which absolutely enchanted me with its iron jungle and the feast of lights.  Thus I made up my mind to challenge Tokyo Tower.  The result is this work you see here.

Catalogue Raisonné Entry

 
#480 - Catalogue Raisonné
(Rikio Takahashi, The Woodblock Prints, published by Abe Publishing LTD., 1998) 

The Series One Hundred Views of Tokyo: Message to the 21st Century

The series One Hundred Views of Tokyo: Message to the 21st Century (Tokyo Hyakkei niju-isseiki e no messeeji), was conceived and published by the Japan Print Association which was founded in 1931 by an amalgamation of print artists brought together by painter and print designer Okada Saburosuke (1869-1939).  Throughout its history it has promoted its members work through domestic and international shows.1  

In its preface to the first of two catalogs covering the 100 prints from 100 artists that comprise the series, the Association references past print series using Tokyo/Edo as their motif including series from the 1800s by Hiroshige and Hokusai and mid-20th century print series such as Shin Tokyo Hyakkeiundertaken by a group of eight artists in the late 1920s (including Onchi Kōshirō (1891-1955)Hiratsuka Un'ichi (1895-1997)Maekawa Senpan (1888-1960) and Kawakami Sumio (1895-1972)) and Koizumi Kishio's (1893-1945) long-running series (1928-1940) One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo During Showa, both of which depict the resurgence of Tokyo after the devastating 1923 Kanto Earthquake and fire. The Association goes on to say that their new Tokyo Hyakkei series will serve as "a witness of time" by the artists and will consist of "one hundred views by print by one hundred artists, which ultimately will take ten years in all [and] will present the changing international megalopolis Tokyo.... We are confident that [it] will achieve artistic and historical significance..."2

1 For more information visit the website of the Japan Print Association http://www.hangakyoukai.com/en/index.html
2 Tokyo Message to 21st Century: Tokyo Hyakkei (One Hundred Views of Tokyo) - The Fifty Prints of The First Half - 1989-1993,Japan Print Association, 1994, p. 5, 7.

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower (東京タワー) is a tower in Shiba Park, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan ( 35°39′31″N, 139°44′44″E). It is 332.6 m (1091 ft) tall, making it one of the world's highest self-supporting steel towers and the tallest man-made structure in Japan.

The design of the tower is based on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Despite being 8.6 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower (32.6 if the latter's TV antenna is not included), Tokyo Tower only weighs about 4000 tons, whereas the Eiffel Tower weighs about 7300 tons.

It is painted in white and international orange according to air safety regulations. From dusk to midnight, the tower is brilliantly illuminated in orange.


Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #171
 Title  Tokyo Tower   東京タワー  (Tōkyō Tawaa)
 Series  One Hundred Views of Tokyo: Message to the 21st Century (Tōkyō hyakkei niju-isseiki e no messeeji 東京百景 21世紀へのメッセージ)* (included in Volume 2)
 Catalogue Raisonné  Number 480
 Artist
 Takahashi Rikio (1917-1998)
 Signature
 Pencil signed by artist - Rikio Takahashi in English
 Seal  Japan Print Association seal embossed in lower left corner
 Date  1990
 Edition  43 of 100
 Publisher  Japan Print Association (Nihon Hanga Kyokai)
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent
 Genre  sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Miscellaneous  8 plates; 8 colors on Torinoko paper
 Format  
 H x W Paper  24 3/8 x 19 1/2 in. (61.9 x 49.5 cm)
 H x W Image  17 5/8 x 14 1/4 in. (44.8 cm x 36.2 cm)
 Collections This Print  The British Museum 2006,0220,0.13
 Reference Literature  See bibliography on Rikio Takahashi page
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