Home‎ > ‎Artists‎ > ‎Anonymous Artists‎ > ‎

True View of Asakusa Park, around Twelve-Story Tower: Famous Places of Tokyo

Picture of the Occupation of the Taku Forts and the Hard Fight of Navy Lt. Colonel Hattori
 

Japanese Color Lithograph

True View of Asakusa Park, around Twelve-Story Tower: Famous Places of Tokyo

by unknown artist, 1921

S. Watanabe Woodcut Print Shop

IHL Cat. #2063

About This Print

This lithograph by an anonymous artist, brings us a "true view" of the area near the twelve-story Ryōunkaku (Cloud Surpassing Pavilion) in 1921. Strolling along the Gourd Pond in Asakusa Park is a family dressed in their Sunday best. From the carp leaping up from the pond, to the spring cherry blossoms, to the airship and two bi-planes overhead, all signs are auspicious.

Two years later, on September 1923, the Great Kantō Earthquake would devastate not only the 12-story Ryōunkaku but much of the city. (For depictions of the 1923 earthquake see the article on this site Prints of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.

The Ryōunkaku (Cloud Surpassing Pavilion)
Source: Tokyo A Cultural History (Cityscapes), Stephen Mansfield, Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 106-107.

The Ryōunkaku, built in 1890, was Japan's first western-style skyscraper.  The building, constructed under the supervision of the British Engineer W. K. Barton, was at 216 feet in height, the tallest building in Tokyo. Lit up at night by electric arc lamps it was an impressive sight. The building offered imported goods, restaurants and an observation deck with telescopes, with the ninth floor reserved for art exhibitions. An elevator, Japan's first, ran up to the eighth floor.

In the 1923 earthquake, the top four stories collapsed into the Gourd Pond, but the bottom structure of the first eight floors remained, to be torn down my army engineers in the next year.


Airships over Tokyo

Airships over Tokyo in 1921, if not a common sight, would not be too unusual as the army established a balloon unit near Tokyo in 1907 and were flying 250 foot long airships over the city starting in 1911 and the first bi-plane flights over the city were seen a year earlier in 1910.

 
 
Yamada shiki No. 2
The Yamada-shiki No. 3 make a round trip in
the  middle of September of 1911
between Osaka and Tokyo.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #2063
 Title or Description  True View of Asakusa Park, around Twelve-Story Tower: Famous Places of Tokyo 
 東京名所 淺草公園十二階附近之真景
 Artist  Unknown
 Signature  unsigned
 Seal  not sealed
 Publication Date  1921 (Taishō 10)
 大正十年四月一日 印刷 Printing April 1, 1921
 大正十年四月五日 發行 Printing April 5, 1921
 Publisher
綱島龜吉 Tsunajima Kamekichi [firm name: Tujiokaya Kamekichi]
[ref. Marks pub. 549; seal not shown]

address: 東京市日本橋區馬喰町二丁目十四番地 Nohonbashi-ku, Tokyo, Bakurochō Nichōme 14-banchi

画作印刷 兼發行者 printing and publishing 

 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  poor - multiple small and large tears repaired from back; vertical center fold; overall toning
 Genre  meisho-e
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  ōban
 H x W Paper 
 10 3/4 x  15 1/2 in. (27.3 x 39.4 cm)
 H x W Image  9 3/8 x 14 in. (23.8 x 35.6 cm) area within black border
 Literature 
 
 Collections This Print
 Edo-Tokyo Museum 87102373
last update:
4/4/2019 created
Comments