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Spring Dusk at the Tōshō Shrine, Ueno


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Spring Dusk at the Tōshō Shrine, Ueno

by Kawase Hasui, originally 1948

IHL Cat. #71

About This Print

While the print is titled Spring Dusk at the Tōshō Shrine, Ueno, Hasui presents us with a view of the Five-Stories Pagoda which sits, some say forlornly, inside Ueno Zoo. In 1911 it was designated a National Important Cultural Property (Building). 

Catalogue Raisonné Entry

Source: Kawase Hasui; TheComplete Woodblock Prints, Kendall Brown, Amy Reigle Newland, Amsterdam, Hotei Publishing, KITPublishers, 2003, p. 123.
The Tōshō shrine in Tokyo’s Ueno park is dedicated to the firstTokugawa shogun, Ieyasu (1543-1616). The shrine precinct affords agood view of the five-story pagoda of the Kan’ei temple.

Catalogue Raisonné
image and entry
  509 Spring dusk at the Tosho shrine, Ueno
(Haru no yu (Ueno Toshogu))
  Work of 1948
Hasui signature with Kawase Seal
Printer: Ono Gintaro (suri Ono Gintaro seal)
Publisher: Watanabe Shozaburo (Seal A)

Five Story Pagoda of Kanei Temple

Five-Storied Pagoda today

Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education website https://www.syougai.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/bunkazai/heritagemap/taito/taito04.html/

The former Kan'ei-ji Temple was located at the right hand side of the approach to Tosho-gu Shrine. It is currently located inside Ueno Zoo. This 5-story pagoda was constructed as one of the temples for Tosho-gu Shrine by request of Toshikatsu Doi in 1631. However it was burned down by fire in 1639. According to a record called "Sorin Roban Mei", Toshikatsu Doi requested the reconstruction of the temple, and it was restored by Munehiro Koda, and Munehisa Koda, the master builders of the government. They are father and son builders who also constructed Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine. In Meiji period, this temple became a property of Kanei-ji Temple, and then donated to Tokyo Metropolitan government in 1958. The structural style is 3-bay 5-story pagoda, Tile roofing for the first to fourth floor, Copper sheeting for the fifth floor. The main pillar is placed on a foundation stone instead of being suspended. The whole pagoda was coated by Ni-urushi (red lacquer), the inside of the pagoda was coated by regular lacquer and the floor, ceiling and altar were coated by black lacquer. The wall and four pillars were coated by red lacquer. The main pillar was beautifully coated by lacquer and gold. The whole pagoda is thin and tall, and each layer is constructed based on the same dimensions and styles, which is typical case of pagoda construction in Edo period. Also, on the first floor there used to be valuable statues of Four Direction Four Buddha: Shaka-Nyorai (east), Yakushi-Nyorai (south), Amida-Nyorai (west) and Miroku-butsu (north), which are now consigned to Tokyo National Museum.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #71
 Title Spring Dusk at the Tōshō shrine, Ueno
 春の夕(上野東照宮) Haru no yū (Ueno Tōshōgū)
 Kawase Hasui (1883-1957)
Hasui 巴水
 Seal Kawase seal (see above)
 Publication Date 1948 date of original publication
 Edition Likely a later edition, but made during the artist's lifetime, without publisher's seal.  According to Chris Johannesen of shinhanga.net: "Thiswas a heavily reprinted image, originally a Gintaro imprint. The lackof any seal could suggest a fairly late edition." (For a full discussion of Watanabe publisher sealssee "Watanabe Publisher Marks, Seals and Editions")
 Publisher  Watanabe Shōzaburō
 Printer Ono Gintarō 斧銀太郎
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - minor printing/handling creases top of print and minor ink offsetting right margin
 Genre shin hanga (new prints)
 Format ōban tate-e
 H x W Paper 15 3/8 x 10 3/8 in. (39.1 x 26.4 cm)
 H x W Image 14 1/4 x 9 1/2 in. (36.2 x 24.1 cm)
 Collections This Print Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art M.2003.67.39 (no edition notation); Museum of Fine Arts,Boston 50.2887 (unspecified edition with 6mm round type "I"seal visible on printimage)
 Reference Literature CatalogueRaisonné: Kawase Hasui; TheComplete Woodblock Prints, Kendall Brown, Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, KITPublishers, 2003, p. 123, pl. 509
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