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Nakazawa Hiromitsu - Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces

Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage
Places of the Western Provinces
西国三十三所巡礼画巻 Saigoku sanjūsansho junrei gakan

Picture Album Box - 1925 First Edition

Picture Album Box - 1946 Second Edition

The Artist, Nakazawa Hiromitsu, age 52, 1926
"Mr. Hiromitsu Nakazawa returns to the inn in Kyoto from his pilgrimage", 1925
by Hiromitsu's friend and fellow artist Akatsuka Chūichi 

The Artist - Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874-1964) on Pilgrimage

left to right: Nakazawa Hiromitsu,  Ishikura Suiyō, and
Akatsuka Chūichi, Nara Park, 1924
image source:  scanned from Nakazawa Hiromitsu kenkyū, Hiromitsu Nakazawa, et. al., Mitsui Kōkei, 2006, p. 67.
On December 11, 1923, at the age of 49, the artist and illustrator Nakazawa Hiromitsu 中澤弘光 (1874-1964), accompanied by his friends the haiku poet Ishikura Suiyō  石倉翠葉 (1875-1938) and the Western-style painter Akatsuka Chūichi 赤塚忠一 (1887-?), set off on a pilgrimage to the thirty-three temples that comprise the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. 

Pictured on the left are the three pilgrims in Nara Park during their 78 day pilgrimage, wearing the latest in men's fashion, a tonbi 
sleeveless overcoat with ahip-length shoulder cape worn over a kimono, a Western-stylehat and, on their feet, traditional geta, to keep them elevated from the mud on the many trails they were to travel on this 1000km (600 mile) trek. (Although one can assume transport other than their own feet was occasionally used.)

It is unknown why they undertook this trip a little over three months after the 1923 Great Kant
ō Earthquake which devastated Tokyo, but perhaps it was to find solace in the ancient temples and the company of good friends. (Akatsuka and Nakazawa along with several other artists had contributed to the publisher Kanao Tanejirō's October 1923 Picture Album of the Great Kanto Earthquake 関東大震災画帖.) Nakazawa, the leader of the trio, was a traveler at heart and a prolific author and illustrator of books and prints in the very popular sketch-tour genre, which saw artists traveling throughout the country and the Japanese colonies sketching and writing about the places visited.

In June 1925, fifteen months after the trio completed their pilgrimage in February 1924, the publisher Kanao Tanejirō, who had previously published Nakazawa's sketch-tour books, released the print album titled Saigoku sanjūsansho junrei gakan ("Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces") consisting of woodblock prints made from Nakazawa's sketches, poems by Ishikura and one print by Akatsuka of Nakazawa resting after his journey. Other material for the album was contributed by University President and Doctor of Religion Mochizuki Shinkō 望月信亨 (1869–1948)1Washio Junkyō 鷲尾順敬 (1868-1941), the Buddhist scholar and historiographer, and the tanka poet Sasaki Nobutsuna 佐佐木信綱 (1872-1963)2, making this album quite a religious and literary, as well as pictorial, undertaking.

The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage (Saigoku sanjūsansho junrei) 

Japan's most famous pilgrimage, originating in the 11th century, encompasses thirty-three Buddhist temples in Western Japan (Kansai region) dedicated to Kannon (bodhisattva Avalokitasvara), the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who hears the cries of the world and assists anyone in distress.

accessed: 11/23/2020

Sources: website of cultural anthropologist Martin Gray http://www.taleofgenji.org/saigoku_pilgrimage.html and "Buddhist Pilgrim/Buddhist Exile: Old and New Images of Retired Emperor Kazan in the Saigoku Kannon Temple Guidebooks," Mark MacWilliams, appearing in History of Religions, May, 1995, Vol. 34, No. 4, The University of Chicago Press,  p. 303-328.

The thirty-three temples on the approximately 1,000 kilometer pilgrimage route correspond to Kannon's ability to take on thirty-three different forms. One hundred thousand pilgrims navigate the route in its entirety or in part each year.

Note: For a listing of all thirty-three temples go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saigoku_Kannon_Pilgrimage. To access an interactive map of the route and its temples go to https://www.thetempleguy.org/p/saigoku-33-kannon-route.html and scroll down towards the bottom of the page.

"It is traditional for pilgrims to wear white clothing and conical straw hats and to carry walking sticks. While the route was historically traveled by foot, today pilgrims usually use cars or trains. Pilgrims record their progress with a prayer book (納経帖 Nōkyō-chō), which the temple staff mark with red stamps and Japanese calligraphy indicating the temple number, the temple name, and the specific name of the Kannon image. Some pilgrims receive the stamps and calligraphy on wall scrolls (for a decorative hanging) and on their white coats (to be cremated in) as well." It is customary for pilgrims to recite goeika (junrei uta) specific to each site upon entering.

Origin of the Saigoku Pilgrimage
The origin of the pilgrimage is largely unknown, although the retired emperor Kazan (968-1008) is popularly credited with founding (or reviving) the Saigoku Thirty-Three-Temple Kannon pilgrimage route. Yet, according to Professor of Religious Studies Mark MacWilliams, "despite the popular stories, there is no historical evidence linking the retired emperor with the origin of the route. Most scholars agree that the thirty-three-temple route originated at the end of the Heian period, at least a century after Kazan's death. In all likelihood, the actual founders of the route were two Tendai monk-ascetics from Mii-dera, Gyōson (1055-1135) and Kakuchu (1118-1177)."

Goeika - The Waka Poem-Prayers of Each Temple
By the mid-18th century the retired emperor Kazan was also credited with authoring the thirty-three waka poem-prayers (junrei uta or goeika), consisting of thirty-one syllables, which appear at the end of each temple entry and are the major devotional liturgy of the pilgrimage. (Note that the temple information sheets (appendices) accompanying Nakazawa's album of prints reproduce the junrei uta for each temple.) Again, MacWilliams tells us that the historical reality does not align with the popular understanding:  "[N]one of the thirty-three junrei uta...are authored by Kazan. Most of the junrei uta were written anonymously over the centuries by ordinary Saigoku pilgrims."

"Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces"

First issued in June 1925 and reprinted in January 1946, the 1925 album contained fifty-eight prints plus a table of contents and colophon (both printed on the same sheet of heavy brown cardboard, as shown below) and the reprinted 1946 album contained fifty-nine prints. In researching extant copies of prints from the two editions online, both in museum collections and offered for sale by art dealers, I have found that prints from the two editions are often conflated with each other. This collection does own what I believe to be a complete album of the 1925 original release* but, to date, I have not seen a complete 1946 release. In the below discussion I do my best to clarify the differences between the two releases, but additional research is necessary. 

* see the artist's home page Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874-1964).

Table of Prints in the Album

Prints Details
 7* woodblock prints consisting of written text superimposed over landscapes (gasan 画賛) .
* an 8th gasan print was added to the 1946 release.
A one sheet inscription by Buddhist scholar, University President and Doctor of Religion Mochizuki Shinkō 望月信亨 (1869–1948), followed by three sheets of preface by the Buddhist scholar and historiographer Washio Junkyō (1868-1941), followed by three sheets of poetry by the tanka poet Sasaki Nobutsuna (1872-1963), Hiromitsu himself and the haiku poet Ishikura Suiyō (1875-1938). For the 1946 edition an additional poem print (gasan) by Kawai Sumei was added. 
37 woodblock prints of temples designed by Nakazawa.Thirty-three prints depicting the official temples on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage plus one print depicting the bangai* temple Nata-dera, one print titled On Lake Biwa, one print depicting Amanohashidate and one print of interior scenes of Fujii-dera temple.
*bangai (literally outside the numbers): temples not included in the route, but considered of religious or historical interest as part of the circuit.
1 woodblock print Designed by Nakazawa's friend Akatsuka Chūichi 赤塚忠一 (1887-?) depicting Nakazawa relaxing on the veranda of his hotel after completing the pilgrimage. 
11 typeset appendix sheets Each appendix sheet provides information on three of the thirty-three temples on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage and includes a sketch of the principle enshrined deity for each temple along with each temple's goeika and a temple-specific haikai composed by Ishikura Suiyō. These appendixes were reproduced using letterpress printing.
 2 woodblock prints of landscapes
End pieces to the set depicting Naichi Falls and Nara area. These two prints were re-purposed for the 1946 release, with the Naichi Falls print having the album's title added to it and the landscape of the Nara area having a poem inscribed above it. 

The Original 1925 Release
The 1925 release of this album by the publisher Kanao Tanejirō was one of the early manifestations of moving away from text-based sketch-tour guides in book form, in which illustrations played a secondary role (see this collection's book Kinai kenbutsu, Yamato (Nara) no maki) to more image-centric compilations of ōban-size single sheet woodblock prints accompanied by explanatory text.  As noted by Scott Johnson,
[T]he sketch-tour books led directly to the more widely known genre of shin-hanga landscape prints. Although the landscape print movement attracted new artists and publishers, many of the figures active in the 'sketch-tour' book genre became pioneers in shin-hanga landscape prints. The popularity of these single-sheet prints ironically prompted the demise of the 'sketch-tour' books themselves.3

The 1925 Original Release
(click on an image for enlargement)

Image source: adopted from Nakazawa Hiromitsu kenkyū,
Hiromitsu Nakazawa, et. al.,Mitsui Kōkei, 2006, p. 46-48.

Colophon for 1925 First Edition (printed on inside of carboard album enclosure)
大正十四年九月十五日印刷 Printed: September 15 1925
 大正十四年九月十八日発行 Published: September 28, 1925
金貳五圓 Price 25 yen [approximately ten US dollars at the time or roughly 140 to 150 current US dollars]
  編輯者 金尾種次郎 Editor: Kanao Tanejirō
合資会社金尾文淵堂 代表者 Representative: Gōshi Gaisha [1] Kanao Bun’endō
発行者 金尾種次郎 Publisher: Kanao Tanejirō
彫刻及 印刷者  岡田清次郎 Carver and Printers: Okada Seijirō [carver];  大倉藤太郎 Okura Tōtarō 西村熊吉 Nishimura Kumakichi・ 山縣秀助 Yamagata Hidesuki・ 松本兄弟堂 Matsumoto Kyōdaidō
製本及 製函者 Bindery: 大杉菊平 Ōsugi Kikuhira  永井佐一郎 Nagai Miyaji
東京市麹町田町二丁目番地 Tokyo address of publisher
大阪市西玉出町九七〇番地 Kyoto address of publisher
發兌元 金尾文淵堂  Publisher: (hatsudamoto) Kanao Bun'endō 
Notes: [1] Name romanizations in italics may not be accurate
[2]  Gōshi Gaisha is a type of "unlimited liability" incorporation

Table of Contents (front)
Table of Contents for the Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces
Provides series title and the temple name, province
temple is located in, and name of sacred mountain associated with each of the thirty-three temples plus
one affiliated temple. Other prints included in the
album are not shown.
For more detail go to Table of Contents for the Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces
Table of Contents (back)
Table of Contents for the Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces
Provides the names of all contributors and four additional prints. For details see Table of Contents for the Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces.

While the 2006 book Nakazawa Hiromitsu kenkyū states that the 1925 release was limited to an edition of 330 copies, I believe individual prints may have been issued outside the limited edition.4 We do know that certain prints, as can be seen in two different impressions of the print Matsunoo-dera (temple 29), shown below, seem to have undergone two printings in 1925. While both prints carry the date June 15, 1925 in the right margin (大正十四年六月十五日), we can see obvious differences in the printings, several of which are highlighted by the red arrows, along with the different right margin inscriptions.

click on image to enlarge
Comparison of two impressions of the print Matsunoo-dera, both dated June 15, 1925 in the right margin (detail shown below) showing obvious differences highlighted by the red arrows.

Right Margin Inscription Detail on the Above Prints
right column:
Taisho 14th year, sixth month, fifteenth day
Maizuru Yōsai Shireibu kenʾetsu-zumi 
[Maizuru Fort Headquarters Inspection Approval5]
left column:
西國三十三所巡禮畫卷 / 九 / 中澤弘光 / (文淵堂版)
Saigoku sanjūsansho junrei gakan [Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces] / 29 / Nakazawa Hiromitsu / Bun'endō han

Taisho 14th year, sixth month, fifteenth day
Maizuru Yōsai Shireibu kenʾetsu-zumi 
[Maizuru Fort Headquarters Inspection Approval]

The Second Edition 1946 Release
On January 18, 1946, five months after Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's unconditional surrender, the publisher of the original 1925 release Kanao Tanejirō reprinted the 1925 album, packaging it in a "book form" with a new cover illustration (as shown below) and adding an additional poem by the tanka poet, and proponent of free-verse, Kawai Suimei (1874-1965). This set of fifty-nine prints was a bold investment by Kanao coming at a time when the materials needed to complete this work, particularly paper, were in short supply and the few remaining woodblock publishing companies were struggling to find an audience for their prints. 
The 1946 Second Edition
(click on an image for enlargement)

colophon for 1946 release
昭和二十一年一月十一日印刷 Printed: January 11, 1946
昭和二十一年一月十八日発行 Published: January 28, 1946
著作者 中澤弘光 Author:Nakazawa Hiromitsu
編輯兼 発行者 金尾種次郎 Editor and Publisher: Kanao Tanejirō
木版印刷 西村熊吉 Woodblock Printing: Nishimura Kumakichi 
同 高木清光 Woodblock Printing: Takagi Seikō (Kiyomitsu)
版印刷 株式會社似玉堂 Letterpress Printing: Kabushiki kaisha Jigyokudō
装釘 眞英社 (真英社) Binding: Shineisha
東京都神田区淡路町二丁目九番地 (Tokyo address of Haikyūmoto Nihon Shuppan Haikyū Kabushiki Kaisha*)
元  日本出版配給株式会社 Haikyūmoto Nihon Shuppan Haikyū Kabushiki Kaisha
Haikyūmoto Nihon Shuppan Haikyū Kabushiki Kaisha (Japan Publishing Distribution Company, Ltd.) was a quasi-governmental company (1944-1949), which consolidated over 200 independent publishers "as a national propaganda network", publishing under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Japan Publication Cultural Association. Its moto was "building Japanese culture and the national defense." [sources: Japan Wikipedia page 日本出版配給 and website of Geographicus Rare Antique Maps https://www.geographicus.com/P/RareMaps/japanpublishingdistribution]

京都市中京区西ノ京圓町一番地 (Kanao Bun'endō Kyoto address)
發兌元 金尾文淵堂 Publishing House: Kanao Bun'endō
振替口座  東京三八一七番 大阪番 (Money transfer information)

Comparison of 1925 and 1946 Printings

When trying to distinguish between the 1925 and 1946 editions, the most obvious difference is the absence of the series title 西國三十三所巡禮繪卷, the temple number, the artist's name 中澤弘光 and publisher's name 文淵堂版 in the right margin, or anywhere else, on the prints in the 1946 release. 

While multiple sources say the same blocks were used for both the 1925 and 1946 releases, almost all, if not all, the prints in the 1946 release appear different enough in their detail from their 1925 counterpart that it is likely that either new blocks were carved or that the old blocks were reworked for the 1946 release. The two prints of Yoshi-dera, shown below, are prime examples of this. In general, the 1946 prints have a less "painterly" appearance, use bolder colors than the 1925 release and eliminate or are missing some detail. A better quality, noticeably thicker, paper was used in the 1925 release, which is not surprising given post-war paper shortages. 

left: 1925 release; right: 1946 release
Note the many differences including the lack of characters on the sign post
and the difference in placement and detail for the low fence in the foreground.
click on image to enlarge

Another difference between the two releases is what appears to be a re-purposing of the two end prints included in the original 1925 release, a landscape of the Nara area and a scene of Naichi Falls. As shown below, the Nara landscape was re-issued in 1946 with an inscribed poem added (poet unknown) and the Naichi Falls print was overprinted with the album's title 西國三十三所巡禮畫卷 for the 1946 release. 

Finally, as mentioned above, a 59th print. a gasan, by the poet Kawai Suimei 河井 酔茗 (1874-1965)6, known for his tanka and as a proponent of "free verse", printed above the same landscape of Nara as discussed above, was included in the 1946 release.
The two re-purposed landscapes in the 1946 release
Poem inscribed above scene of Nara area.

Print bearing the album title 西國三十三所巡禮畫卷 overprinted on a scene depicting Naichi Falls in southern Wakayama Prefecture.

The two landscapes included as end prints in the 1925 release 
Nara from the Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces
End print of Nara area from the 1925 release
Nachi Falls from the Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces
End print of Naichi Falls from the 1925 release

Some Final Thoughts
This work by Nakazawa Hiromitsu is an overlooked wonder of 20th century Japanese woodblock print production. It is not only an artistic achievement but a statement of Japanese resilience in the aftermath of great destruction, the pilgrimage being undertaken a little over three months after the Great Kantō Earthquake devastated Tokyo and the second edition of the album being released just nine months after Imperial Japan's unconditional surrender following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

As I document each of the woodblock prints in the series I am struck by Nakazawa's lightness in depicting the temples, given the solemnity of the period after the Great Kantō Earthquake. Rather than focusing on the images of Kannon in each temple, he is almost whimsical in the scenes he chooses to represent each temple, sometimes focusing on the surrounding landscape rather than the temples themselves. When figures appear in the prints, much like Hiroshige and Hokusai landscapes, they are just going about their business - individual pilgrims making offerings, monks walking the grounds. And, on occasion, one of Nakazawa's traveling companions appears.

Unfortunately, the poetic and other inscriptions on the first seven prints remain untranslated. Their translation into English might well throw light on Nakazawa's thoughts and reasons for undertaking the seventy-eight day pilgrimage. 

As an artistic work integrating contemporary Buddhist scholarship and poetry with the painterly renderings in woodblock of Nakazawa's sketches, Saigoku sanjūsansho junrei gakan ("Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces") deserves further study. 

1 "Mochizuki Shinkō 望月信亨 (1869–1948) was a prolific scholar ofJapanese Pure Land Buddhism whose work helped lay the foundation of modern Buddhist studies. His most well-known work is undoubtedly the ten-volume Bukkyō Daijiten 佛敎大辭典 (Encyclopediaof Buddhism), edited by Mochizuki and published in 1933." [Source: Introduction to the Special Sectionon Pure Land Buddhism in China: A Doctrinal Historyby Mochizuki ShinkōNatalie Fisk Quli, appearing in Pacific World: Third Series, Number 20, Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies, 2018.]
2 Sasaki Nobutsuna 佐佐木信綱 (1872 - 1963) was a poet and scholar of Japanese literature. In 1937, he was awarded the first Order of Culture. He was a Doctor of Literature, a member of the Imperial Academy, and a member of the Japan Art Academy. [Source: National Diet Library Portraits of Modern Japanese Historical Figures.]
3 "Sketch-tour Books and Print of the Early Books Twentieth Century" by Scott Johnson, appearing in Andon 37, June 1991, p. 3. 
4 Nakazawa Hiromitsu kenkyū, Hiromitsu Nakazawa, et. al.,Mitsui Kōkei, 2006, p. 46-48.
5 Maizuru was the site of an Imperial Japanese Navy base. From the inscription on the prints it must have housed censors in the Home Ministry of the imperial government who examined both material submitted by publishers for approval "as well as books lawfully confiscated by the ministry and local authorities. The practice of censorship were carried out 'to protect public order' 'annei' and the manners and morals 'fuzoku' in Japan. To achieve these ends, censors suppressed 'kinshi', deleted 'sakujo' or revised publications 'kaitei' they deemed a threat to social and political stability." [source: Library of Congress Japanese Censorship Collection https://www.loc.gov/collections/japanese-censorship-collection/about-this-collection/?loclr=blogint accessed 12/20/2020]
6 "Kawai Suimei (1874-1965) was born in Osaka... [and] began writing poetry in about 1891. In 1895 Suimei became the editor of the magazine Bunko (Library) and organized the Meiji poetry gorup Bunko-ha. Besides publishing some collections of "new style" poetry, in 1907 Suimei started the Shisōha group and began putting out the magazine Poet (Shijin), which attracted many young poets. He was a major figure in the movement for free verse - as opposed to the old-fashioned diction of new-style poetry..." [source:
[The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature, Volume 1, From Restoration to Occupation, 1868-1945, ed. J. Thomas Rimer and Van C. Gessel, Columbia University Press, 2005, p. 296.]