Hiroshima Daihonei from the series Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Hiroshima Daihonei

print 47 from the series

Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places

by Tokuriki Tomikichirō, 1941

Hakkō Ichiu Tower in Miyazaki from the series Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places

IHL Cat. #1101

About This Print

Print number forty-seven of the fifty print series Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places (Seichi Shiseki Meisho) published by Uchida Woodblock Printing Company in 1941, depicting an outside wall of Hiroshima Castle in the foreground with the Imperial Headquarters (daihon'ei) in the mid-ground and the castle keep in the background.  Hiroshima Castle originally built in 1590 was destroyed in the atomic bombing.  The keep was rebuilt in 1958.

The Series - Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places

The print artist Tokuriki and the publisher Unsōdō created two series of prints to mark Kigen 2600, or the 2600th year of Japan's mythical founding as a nation. The first, a paean to Mount Fuji, a sacred site of pilgrimage and worship, titled Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, harkened back to Hokusai’s famous 1831 series of the same name. The second series, Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places, capitalized on the nationalist ideology that Japan was a divine land, presenting overtly nationalistic landscapes including shrines, temples, castles, places associated with the divine origins of Japan, Meiji era history and samurai
culture.

In his commentary on this series, the artist wrote that his devotion to these sites is intended to demonstrate to the people the dignity of the national polity, going on to say that he advocates prints as a means of providing comfort and pleasure to the wholesome citizens of the nation. 

This series was extremely popular with domestic and foreign buyers who purchased one thousand copies within a short time after issuance.1  I imagine that foreign buyers were enchanted by the lovely scenes with much of the import of each print escaping them. In the 1950s, six prints from this series were re-printed under the title The Album of Famous Views of Japan and eight additional prints were re-printed under the title The Eight Views of Japan.  Later printings omit the information in the margin and some position the artist's signature and print title within the image in a different location from the original issue.

For images of all the prints in the series, go to the website of Ross Walker's Ohmi Gallery at http://www.ohmigallery.com/Gallery/Tokuriki/SacredPlaces.htm.

1 Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints - The Early YearsHelen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1998, p. 89.


Margin Annotations of Original Edition (top to bottom) and Print Title Within Image



series title
Seichi Shiseki Meisho
聖地 史蹟 名勝


 assigned number of print in series

四十七
(47)



artist's signature and seal
Tomikichiro kin saku
富吉郎 
(respectfully made by Tomikichiro)
followed by oval seal1


Uchida Bijutsu Shoshi

内田美術書肆
(Uchida Fine Art Shop) followed in seal form by
Fukyo Fukusei
(Reproduction forbidden))
 
Print Title
廣[広]島大本營
(Hiroshima Daihon'ei)

1 possibly a reproduction of an old censor's seal

The title of each print appears within the image area along with the artist's signature and seal.  The artist's signature is comprised of the artist's name 富吉郎 (Tomikichirō) either by itself or followed by the single kanji character 作 (saku "made by") or by the character 謹 (kin "respectfully") followed by , as shown below.



Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1101
 Title Hiroshima Imperial Headquarters
 廣島大本營 [広島大本営] Hiroshima Daihon'ei
 Series Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places (also seen translated as "Collected Prints of Sacred, Historic and Scenic Places")
 聖地 史蹟 名勝 Seichi Shiseki Meisho
 Artist 
 Tokuriki Tomikichirō (1902-2000)
 Signature  富吉郎 作 Tomikichirō kin saku
 Seal Tokuriki
 Date September 1941
 Edition original (first) edition
 Publisher Uchida Bijutsu Shoten
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - minor paper thinning top corners verso from previous folio mounting
 Genre shin hanga (new print); fūkeiga
 Miscellaneous 四十七 #47 in series
 Format horizontal ōban
 H x W Paper 11 1/4 x 16 1/4 in. (28.6 x 41.3 cm)
 H x W Image 10 3/8 x 15 (26.4 x 38.1 cm)
 Collections This Print Penn Libraries, Rare Book & Manuscript Library - Rare Book Collection Call no.: Portfolio  NE1325.T65 A4 1940
 Reference Literature 
Comments