Table of Contents from the series Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Table of Contents

from the series Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places

by Tokuriki Tomikichirō, 1941

Udo Shrine from the series Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places

IHL Cat. #436

About This Print

The table of contents providing the titles of each of the 50 prints in the series Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places (Seichi shiseki meishō) published by Uchida Woodblock Printing Company in 1941.  Various good luck objects are in the background over which the kanji print titles, series name, artist's name and publisher's name have been printed.  The original issue of the complete set contained, in addition to this Table of Contents, two sheets of poetry honoring the artist (tanka by Nobutsuna Sasaki and haiku by Kyoshi Takahama). 

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 Years, Helen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1998, p. 89.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #436
 Title  Table of Contents
 Series  Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places (Seichi shiseki meishō 聖地 史蹟 名勝 )
 (also seen translated as "Collected Prints of Sacred, Historic and Scenic Places")
 Artist
 Tokuriki Tomikichirō (1902-2000) (It is likely that Tokuriki did not design the Table of Contents for the series)
 Signature
 
 Seal  
 Date  September 1941
 Edition  original (first) edition
 Publisher  Uchida Bijutsu Shoten
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  fair - toning; slight foxing and soiling; small tear center of top margin; wrinkling along edges
 Genre  shin hanga (new print)
 Miscellaneous
 Format  horizontal oban
 H x W Paper  11 1/8 x 16 1/4 in. (28.3 x 41.3 cm)
 Collections This Print
 Reference Literature  
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