An edition of Kaishien Gaden (Landscapes from the mustard seed garden manual)


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Posted by Colin Birch on August 20, 2002 at 01:42:40:

Hello,
Please can anyone help me with a book of unknown age and publisher? It is an edition of Kaishien Gaden, which was first published in 1753, but the blocks are clearly inexact copies after the original. Despite being recut, the blocks appear very worn, with many splits or missing splinters. However, the colours have been very carefully applied to match the original book. The colours (especially grey) have bled into the very soft paper. The overall effect is quite pleasing, exaggerating the abstract qualities of the original book.
The back page of the book has been difficult to understand even with the help of Japanese speakers, but includes the Chinese cyclical dates 54 (1917, 1857, 1797?) and 56 and a 40 month interval. These seem to be the beginning and end of the project, which seems to have been carried out privately and with great difficulty by Master Shikashiba (Kashiba?). The signature above the seal does not seem to be Japanese, reading as "Shin Fu Ba Shiki" (probably should be read very differently, in Chinese). Any information about the landscape volume of Kaishien Gaden and later copies after it would be very welcome. Is there another site that might be more suitable for questions about Japanese illustrated books?
Thank-you for any information, Colin


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