KISO KAIDO ROKUJUKU TSUGI. The Sixty-Nine Stations on the Kiso Kaido.
MOCHIZUKI. The full moon peeping from behind a row of rugged gnarled pines.
Dr. L. Reidhaar
ASHIDA. Highway in the mountains bordered with cryptomeria.
KARUIZAWA. Three Travellers getting Refreshment by the bonfire on the roadside at night.
Mr. T. Maeda
SEBA. A delicate summer scene, the dainty colouring of the sky with a wraith-like cloud over the moon is fascinating.
Mr. I. Ichihara
MIYA NO KOSHI. Fine Representation of Mist and Moonlight and a party of men Crossing a Bridge.
Mr. M. Uchida
NAKATSUGAWA. A Samurai accompanied by two attendants passing by a pine tree in a slight shower of rain. This is the first block of the print and is entirely different from the later issue. The more common issue has a willow tree in the foreground and has no rain.
Mr. Z. Matsuki
HOSOKUTE. Two huge pine trees arch over the roadway.
Mr. K. Ichikawa
TARUI. Rain Scene of a Pine Avenue.
Mr. R. Watanabe
As has been mentioned in connection with the Tokaido Series No. 54, the Kiso Kaido was a great highway in the days of the Tokugawa Shogunate connecting Yedo and Kyoto. The series begins with Nihonbashi and ends with Otsu numbering 70 in all. They are of O-ban Yokoye. Of these, 23 are the works of Keisai Eisen and the rest or 47 those of Ichiryusai-Hiroshige. The list is appended for the sake of reference.
1. Nihonbashi (Eisen).
2. Itabashi (Do.).
3. Warabi (Do.).
4. Urawa (Do.).
5. Omiya (Do.).
6. Ageo (Do.)
7. Okegawa (Do.).
8. Konosu (Do.)
9. Kumagaya (Do.).
10. Fukaya (Do.).
11. Honjo (Do.).
12. Shinmachi (Hiroshige).
13. Kuragano (Eisen).
14. Takasaki (Hiroshige).
15. Itabana (Eisen).
16. Annaka (Hiroshige).
17. Matsuida (Do.).
18. Sakamoto (Eisen).
19. Karuizawa (Hiroshige).
20. Kutsukake (Eisen).
21. Oiwake (Do.).
22. Odai (Hiroshige).
23. lwamurata (Eisen).
24. Shionata (Hiroshige).
25. Yawata (Do.).
26. Mochizuki (Do.).
27. Ashida (Do.).
28. Nagakubo (Do.).
29. Wada (Do.).
30. Shimosuwa (Do.).
31. Shiojiri (Eisen).
32. Seba (Hiroshige).
33. Motoyama (Do.).
34. Niikawa (Do.).
35. Narai (Eisen).
36. Yabuhara (Do.).
37. Miyanokoshi (Hiroshige).
38. Fukushima (Do.).
39. Agematsu (Do.).
40. Suhara (Do.).
41. Nojiri (Eisen).
42. Mitono (Hiroshige).
43. Tsumagome (Do.).
44. Magome (Eisen).
45. Ochiai (Hiroshige).
46. Nakatsugawa (Do.).
47. 0i (Hiroshige).
48. Okute (Do.).
49. Hosokute (Do.).
50. Mitake (Do.).
51. Fushimi (Do.).
52. Ota (Do.).
53. Unuma (Eisen).
54. Kano (Hiroshige).
55. Kodo (Eisen).
56. Miyeji (Hiroshige).
57. Akasaka (Do.).
58. Tarui (Do.).
59. Sekigahara (Do.).
60. Imasu (Do.).
61. Kashiwabara (Do.).
62. Samegai (Do.).
63. Banba (Do.).
64. Toriimoto (Do.).
65. Takamiya (Do.).
66. Musa (Do.).
67. Echikawa (Do.).
68. Moriyama (Do.).
69. Kusatsu (Do.).
70. Otsu (Do.).
Like the Tokaido Series No. 54 in the Catalogue,
the first prints of the Kiso Kaido Series are far more exquisite
than the succeeding ones owing to changes effected in blocks. Similar
case is also found in pictures by Eisen.
The print of Nihonbashi has been revised more than three times. In one of these prints the seal of the firm name of a publishing house styled "Reiganjima Takenouchi" () is impressed on the umbrella held up by a man on the bridge, the sunrise being dimly seen through the clouds. In another print, the title of a publishing house is also shown on the umbrella but not the same as the above, reading "Ikenaka Iseri" (). Ikenaka is the abridged form of the name of the street styled Ikenohata-Nakacho. In still another one, the seal on the umbrella is styled "Nakabashi Yamasho-ban" (). The first print bears the signature and seal of the author styled "Keisai" () or "Eisen Ga," () while the second and third have neither the signature, seal nor the sunrise.
The first part of the series were all produced by Keisai-Eisen and printed by the Takenouchi-Hoeido. Beginning, however, with Shinmachi (No. 12) by Hiroshige, the Hoeido jointly edited the prints of the series with the Kinjudo () (another name of Iseri). The greater part of the rest of the series were mostly painted by Hiroshige and printed by the Kinjudo.
After the completion of the series, the Kinjudo took over from the Hoeido the blocks for the first portion of pictures drawn by Eisen and thus edited the complete set. The second print showing the scene of Nihonbashi referred to above is included in this set. It appears that the house made over to the Yamasho, Nakahashi, the worn out blocks.
It is noticeable in this connection that by the side of the name and seal of the publishing house on the umbrella quoted above there is a stamp styled "Year of Sheep." From the style of painting, the press work and tone, it appears that the print Nihonbashi was produced in the 6th year of the Tempo era (1835). On the other hand there is observable increasing change in strokes and press work and other details of the prints from the middle part onwards. Those from Kashiwabara and Samegai downwards are very much like the Gyosho Tokaido (Illustration No. 151) produced at the end of the same era. It seems that it took many years to complete the whole series. Early prints by Eisen have his name and seal but later ones have not because he passed away in 1848. And it may be supposed that the publishers omitted the name and seal of the artist for fear that the original prints would not be acceptable to the public with whom the newest edition was most popular in those days. A set of later prints sold in the form of album is entitled "Sixty-Nine Stations on the Kisokaido by Ichiryusai-Hiroshige and the late Keisai-Eisen." There is another version that Eisen deliberatly omitted his name and seal because he became unfriendly toward the publishing house. But this is rather incredible. Because, according to the usages of those days, after the artist was paid for his works, the copyright was no longer his but the publisher's. Nor is it likely that the artist's name and seal would have been struck out by the publisher while the artist was still alive. (There are instances where the publisher omitted the artist's name and seal after his death).
YEDO KINKO HAKKEI NO UCHI. Eight Views of Environs of Yedo.
KOGANEI YUSHO. Koganei at Sunset. Fine old cherry trees in bloom lining the banks of a narrow stream spanned by a rustic bridge.
Messrs. Yoshizawa & Co.
IKEGAMI BANSHO. Vesper Bells at Ikegami. The temple approached by a steep flight of steps, stands in a dense wood of Cryptomeria.
HANEDA RAKUGAN. Geese flying down to the green rushes in blue water at Haneda.
SHIBAURA SEIRAN. Clearing Weather at Shibaura. Two junks lying at anchor off Shibaura.
AZUMA MORI YAU. Evening Rain at Azuma no Mori. A little Shrine peeping through thick woods beyond a narrow path among the paddy fields.
ASUKAYAMA BOSETSU. Asukayama in Evening Snow. At the foot of the famous cherry-viewing hill, peasants and a horse force their way against a snowstorm.
GIOTOKU KIHAN. Fishing Boats with large white sails returning at Giotoku.
Mr. M. Uchida
SHUGETSU. Autumn Moon at Tama River. Full Moon above a willow
tree and a distant view of the river. 8 sheets in the set. 0-ban
Yokoye. Published by Kikakudo.
All the first prints of this series have each on the upper part of the plate an inscription of a poem of three or four verses. Besides, some of the prints bear outside the border a stamp styled Taihaido-Kaihan (Prints Inaugurated by Taihaido). Taihaido is the pen name of a famous poet who lived in those days. It appears that he and his fellow versifiers wanted to leave their productions to later generations by getting them inscribed on prints. For this purpose Taihaido ordered of Hiroshige the painting of the famous sights which they had chosen for the subjects of versification, and got the pictures specially printed by the Kikakudu to illustrate their poems. These were circulated among the versifiers concerned. It will thus be seen that a print entitled "Haneda no Rakugan" bears an inscription of a poem of one verse by Taihaido.
It appears that because these prints were found exceedingly attractive the Kikakudo reprinted them by permission of Taihaido, leaving only one verse on each print and offered them to the general public. Those put on view in the exhibition belong to the later edition each with a single verse.
KANAZAWA HAKKEI. Eight Views of Kanazawa.
NO YAU. Evening Rain at Koizumi. O-ban Yokoye. Published by Koshihei
This series is counted among Hiroshige's masterpieces, showing three series of eight views, among the rest being No. 57 Omi Hakkei, Eight Views of Omi, and No. 94 Yedo Kinko Hakkei, Eight Views of the Environs of Yedo. The above print and the following seven views make a set.
Seto Shugetsu, Autumnal Moon at Seto.
Uchikawa Bosetsu, Evening Snow at Uchikawa.
Hirakata no Rakugan, Geese Flying Down at Hirakata.
Nojima no Yusho, Sunset at Nojima.
Ottomo no Kihan, Boats Sailing Back at Ottomo.
Susaki no Seiran, Clearing Weather at Susaki.
Shomyoji no Bansho, Vesper Bells at the Shomyoji Temple.
Mr. G. Hashiguchi