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A list of noted places at the Second National Industrial Exposition at Ueno Park

Utagawa Kunitoshi (1847-1899)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

A List of Noted Places at the Second National

Industrial Exposition at Ueno Park

by Utagawa Kunitoshi, 1881

IHL Cat. #477
Famous Places in Tokyo, Kakigara-cho Rice Trading Exchange and Eitai Bridge

About This Print

A "quick and dirty" triptych giving us a bird's eye view of the notable sites at the Second National Industrial Exposition held in 1881 a Ueno Park in Tokyo.  Easily identifiable in the left panel are Toshugo Shrine 東照宮 and Shinobazu Pond 不忍池 with Bentendō 弁天堂 temple standing on Benten Island 弁天島,.

The view provided here by Kunitoshi omits the most famous building at the Exposition, Josiah Conder's new art museum with its twin round towers.  The Western-style brick building in the upper portion of right panel is the art museum from the the First National Industrial Exhibition held in 1877, which remained from the  earlier exhibition.  Another print by Kunitoshi dated March 11, 1881 (below) shows both the new Conder building and the old brick building and a bird's eye panorama done by Chikanobu (also below) prominently features Conder's museum.  It may be that the new art museum was not yet completed when this print was published at the end of January 1881. 

Kunitoshi, The Second National Industrial Exhibition, Ueno Park, Tokyo (Dai nikkai naikoku kangyô hakurankai), 1881 (Meiji 14), March 11
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection

IHL Cat. #477

Chikanobu, The Second National Industrial Exposition
(Dainikai naikoku kangyô hakurankai)
, 1881 (Meiji 14)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection

Second National Industrial Exhibition

Source: "Promoting Scientific and Technological Change in Tokyo," Morris Low appearing in Urban Modernity: Cultural Innovation in the Second Industrial Revolution, Miriam R. Levin, et. al., The MIT Press, 2010, p. 231

"Attendance at the Second National Industrial Exhibition, in 1881, topped that at the first, with over 820,000 visitors over 122 days.  The Ministry of Finance joined forces with the Home Ministry to hold the event.  The centerpiece of the exhibition was the museum building designed by Josiah Conder.  The Western-style building underlined the authority of the new regime, serving to show that Japan was a modern nation, the equal of Western powers.  Another attraction – gas lighting – provided further evidence of Japan’s modernity.

There is evidence that the expositions were indeed useful in promoting Japanese industry.  For example, the Second Nation Industrial exhibition provide craftsmen with an opportunity to showcase their products.  The Tokyo-based Oki Kibatarou exhibited his Microsound device, an Edison-type telephone that used carbon powder instead of caron rods.  It won a second-place award for innovation.

Handmade timepieces were also on display, including two wall clocks, a stand clock, and three pocket watches.  However, the Japanese soon realized that such manually produce products could not compete with imported goods. In 1888, Hayashi Shihei established a factory to produce a thousand grandfather clocks a year using machine tools.  Thus, the exposition provided the Japanese with an opportunity not only showcase what they could do, but to confront the business realities of what competitors could offer."

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #477
 Title (Description)  A list of noted places at the Second National Industrial Exposition at Ueno Park
東京名所 上野博覧会一覧 
 Artist  Utagawa Kunitoshi (1847-1899)
 Signature  Baiju Kunitoshi hitsu
 Seal  2 square seals within signature cartouche
 Pub. Date  January 28, 1881 (Meiji 14)
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - minor soiling and wrinkling; not backed or joined
 Genre  ukiyo-e kaika-e (enlightenment pictures)
 Format  vertical oban
 H x W Paper
 14 3/8 x 9 3/4 in. (36.5 x 24.8 cm) each sheet
 Collections This Print