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An Illustration of the Historical Evolution of Clothing, Sheet 2, Illustration 10, Kokushi daijiten, Volume 2

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

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

An Illustration of the Historical Evolution of Clothing, Sheet 2, Illustration 10, Kokushi daijiten, Volume 2

by unknown artist, 1908

S. Watanabe Woodcut Print Shop

IHL Cat. #2439

About This Print

One of 38 photomechanical and woodblock illustrations in volume 2 of Kokushi daijiten (Encyclopedia of Japanese History). This print is the second of two providing a graphic overview of various garb worn by nobles and the samurai class during various periods of Japanese history. The illustrations, by an unknown artist, were based upon a display of clothed life-size dolls (ningy) at the former Tokyo Imperial Museum (Tōkyō Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan), now the Tokyo National Museum.

In this print, eight examples of clothing are shown, including ceremonial triumphal-style armor worn during the Kamakura period (1185-1333); formal kimono (naga-kamishimo) worn by daimyo during the Edo period (1600-1868); an Edo period bridal robe; a Kamakura period Buddhist warrior priest's garb, complete with cowel (katō 裹頭) to conceal his identity, and naginata 薙刀; a hunting outfit worn during the Muroamchi (1333-1573) and Kamakura periods; and a woman and girl in Meiji period furisode.

In the collection of the Hakodate City Central Library are four postcards (see below) published (date unknown) by the Tokyo National Museum with photographs of the actual exhibits this illustration was based upon.

Four Postcards of the Costumed Ningy at the Tokyo National Museum
Source: Hakodate City Central Library Digital Archives

Kokushi daijiten - Encyclopedia of Japanese History

Kokushi daijiten 国史大辞典, variously translated as Encyclopedia of Japanese History, Dictionary of Japanese History, Comprehensive Dictionary of National History and Great Dictionary of National History was first published in two volumes in 1908. The first edition is comprised of two volumes, with the first volume containing 2,380 pages of material and volume 2 containing supporting maps and illustrations reproduced using woodblock and photomechanical means. Numerous subsequent editions have been published and today the encyclopedia has grown to 15 volumes (17 books).

The compiler, or editor-in-chief, was the literary scholar and historian Professor Hagino Yoshiyuki 萩野由之 (1860-1924) and listed editors are Inobe Shigeo 井野邊茂雄 (1877-1954), Hayakawa, Junzaburō 早川純三郎 and Yashiro Kuniji 八代國治 (1873-1924 ).

The publisher was Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 吉川弘文館, Japan's oldest extant publisher, founded in Tokyo by Yoshikawa Hanshichi (d. 1902) in Tokyo.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description
An Illustration of the Historical Evolution of Clothing, Sheet 2, Illustration 10, Kokushi daijiten, Volume 2, Illustrations and Chronology
国史大辞典 挿絵及年表  Kokushi daijiten sashie oyobi nenpy
 Artist Unknown
 Signature unsigned
 Seal not sealed
 Publication Date originally 1908. Numerous editions known. 
 Publisher Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 吉川弘文館
[founded by Yoshikawa Hanshichi  吉川半七 (d. 1902]
source: The Oxford Companion to the Bood, ed. Michael F. Suarez, et. al., Oxford University Press, 2010
Yoshikawa Kōbunkan is "the oldest Japanese publisher still in existence was founded in Tokyo in 1857 by Yoshikawa Hanshichi (d. 1902). Highly respected by academics, Yoshikawa Kōbunkan specializes in history and classics."
 Printer excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - light toning throughout and soiling; centerfold 
 Genre sashi-e
 H x W Paper 
 9 3/8 x 13 3/4 in. (24.8 x 34.9 cm)
 H x W Image 
 Collections This Print
 The New York Public Library Digital Collections NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12078221 [Accessed May 1, 2021]; National Diet Library Call Number 210.033-Y571k
last revision:
5/1/2021 created