Last September in the upper floor of the Takashimaya Drapery Store, Kyōbashi, Tokyo, we opened an exhibition of the works of Hiroshige in commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of his death. I took the opportunity to compile the illustrated catalogue of the exhibits in Japanese in order to commemorate the event. Ever since its publication, I have been requested by many foreigners to get it translated into English. The present work is the result of my humble effort to meet their requests.
The pictures put on display in the exhibition would certainly appear a very poor show to the western collectors. The fact is that besides the limited space of the hall, there are not now many of Hiroshige's masterpieces in this country. And the promoters arranged to have every collector offer an equal number of prints as much as possible. In consequence great collectors held back many of their fine works in order to give room for others.
In drawing up the catalogue, I added to those exhibited, the rest of the prints of the various series, as far as they are known, for the sake of reference. I believe that the explanations given are all correct. But I fear that the work has been imperfectly done owing partly to my insufficient knowledge of prints and partly to hasty publication which prevented preparing the translation as fully as had been intended.
I solicit the readers to point out to me any errors that they may come across in the catalogue. If it will prove some benefit to the students of Hiroshige, I shall be more than happy.
I regret that the illustrations are not clearly represented due to the still imperfect development of the art of collotype in this country. The public will, however, be delighted to see five prints, excluding Hiroshige's portrait, copied from wood blocks with precisely the same colours as the original ones, which I have specially inserted in the English catalogue.
Grateful acknowledgement is due to Mr. Motokazu Ishibashi who gave much of his precious time to the translation and to Mr. J. S. Happer who painstakingly overhauled the manuscript.