Re:- Shijo School Woodblock Prints - Many Questions!

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Posted by Arnold on April 23, 2003 at 16:53:55:

In Reply to: Shijo School Woodblock Prints - Many Questions! posted by Shade of Sharaku on March 13, 2003 at 03:07:50:

: Hi,

: I'm wondering if there is such a thing as Shijo School woodblock prints outside of the genres of surimono and woodblock books and albums. Has anything been written on the publishing industry in Kyoto? Were single sheet prints--other than surimono and some kappazuri--ever a part of this industry?


Several Shijo-style prints are pictured in "Osaka Prints" by Dean Swaab. There are two that I had the good fortune to acquire and can comment on.
One is by Ashiyuki (Swaab, Plate 146) which is the commercial version. Another apparently pristine copy is pictured in the Albert and Victoria Museum Catalogue 1 which I have been trying to locate without luck. If anyone has this catalogue, I'd appreciate the author's name(s) and the name of a seller. My copy of the print has a bottome left red seal, lacks the publisher's seal and is apparently from the private edition. It differs considerably from the Swaab version - light grey in place of blue with gofun for snow. Keyes in his landmark book on Osaka prints cites Ashiyuki for many innovations, all of which appear in this print.
My second Shijo print is "Frog Rock" which Swaab (Plate 153, p156) describes as Shigeharu's Shijo masterpiece. A third copy of this print can be found on by clicking on artists, then Shigeharu. It is an oban diptych. The gallary copy is the earlier copy since it includes Kasute's seal while the other two do not. Kasute was Osaka's master carver, probably the most accomplished carver of japanese prints. Unfortunately, the incredible scene is only briefly described. The gallery copy shows grey stone with little contrast and the colors are out of balance. The printers got it right in the later copies. Swaab's copy is grey stone, my copy is brown stone so there were at least three issues.

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