The Summit of Mount Fuji (Okumiya Shrine) from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

The Summit of Mount Fuji (Okumiya Shrine)

#6 from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji

by Tokuriki Tomikichirō, 1939-1940

Izu Eri Coast from the series Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji

IHL Cat. #417

About This Print

This 6th print in the 36 print series depicts the shrine known as Okumiya at the summit of Mount Fuji.  The mist in the background obscures any distant view, focusing our attention on the buildings and the two pilgrims.   This print is the original issue (first edition) published by Uchida Woodblock Printing Company between 1939 and 1940 as part of the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.

The Series - Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji

Published by Uchida Bijutsu Shoten between 1939 and 1940, this 36-print set (plus an introductory sheet and a table of contents sheet) by Tokuriki Tomikichirō (1902-2000) is a more modern take on Hokusai's (1760–1849) famous series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (1826-1833). 

Tokuriki's series was extremely popular with domestic and foreign buyers who purchased one thousand copies within a short time after issuance.1  Various prints from this series were re-printed in subsequent years and subsets of the thirty-six prints were repackaged into newly named series, such as Eight Views of Mount Fuji and Four Season of Mount Fuji, released in the 1950s.  Later printings omit the information in the margin, modify Tokuriki's signature and change the seals below his signature appearing in the image area of the print.

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

Format of Margin Annotations and Image Signatures and Seals of Original Edition
Source: Modern Japanese Prints: 1912-1989, Lawrence Smith, British Museum Press, 1994, p. 50.

top right
series title
富士三十六景ノ内
Fuji sanjūrokukei no uchi

below series title
title of print
富士山頂上
below print title
Tomikichiro Saku
(Made by Tomikichiro)
followed by round
Kiwame censor's seal1
bottom right
 Uchida Bijutsu Shoshi (Uchida Fine Art Shop) followed in seal form by Fukyo Fukusei (Reproduction forbidden)
printed within image
  Tomikichiro Saku
(Made by Tomikichiro) followed by, in seal form, Sanjurokkei (Thirty-six Views) followed by, in seal form, Hanmoto Uchida (Publisher Uchida)

1 The kiwame (examined) censor's seal is an enlarged reproduction of the one used by government-appointed censors from 1790 onwards.


Okumiya (The shrine on top of Mount Fuji)

Sources: Website of Shizuoka Prefecture  http://www.pref.shizuoka.jp/a_foreign/english/fujiquiz/answer02.html; http://www.fuji-hongu.or.jp/sengen/pdf/sengen.pdf

This shrine is one of many on or near the top of Mount Fuji.  It stands at the end of the mountain trail from Fujinomiya.  Okumiya is worshiped as the place where the body of the deity Princess Konohanasakuya dwells.


The Deity of Mount Fuji

The Shinto deity Princess Konohanasakuya is believed to be as beautiful as a cherry blossom. Refusing to accept the fact that - like the fabled cherry blossoms - one day her beauty would fade, the Princess rode to the top of Mount Fuji on a white horse and leaving her sword behind at the summit, ascended to heaven. A shrine is now located at the place where she is said to have ascended to heaven, at the mountain’s highest peak, Kengamine. In addition to the shrine on the summit and the large shrine that stands at the base of the mountain, shrines dedicated to the goddess (known as Sengen Shrines) exist throughout Japan.


Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #417
 Title  The Summit of Mount Fuji (Okumiya Shrine)
  富士山頂上 浅間社奥宮 Fuji-san chōjō (Asama yashiro Okumiya)
 Series  Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji
 富士三十六景ノ内 Fuji sanjūrokukei no uchi
 Artist
 Tokuriki Tomikichirō (1902-2000)
 Signature
 Tomikichirō saku
 Seal  no artist's seal (see above for information on various seals in margin and image)
 Date  1939-1940
 Edition  original (first) edition
 Publisher  Uchida Bijutsu Shoten - Hanmoto Uchida (on print); Uchida Bijutsu Shoritsu han and Reproduction not permitted on margin
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - mat line and slight toning within mat line; several small spots of foxing in sky; two spots top corners verso from previous folio mounting
 Genre  shin hanga (new print)
 Miscellaneous  print #6 in the series
 Format  horizontal oban
 H x W Paper  11 3/8 x 16 1/4 in. (28.9 x 41.3 cm)
 H x W Image
 10 3/8 x 15 in. (26.4 x 38.1 cm)
 Collections This Print  
 Reference Literature  

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