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Komoro-jō and Asamayama from the series Miyata Saburō Collection of Woodblock Prints Scenery of Japan, Shinshū

Tropical Fish

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Komoro-jō and Asamayama

from the series Miyata Saburō Collection of

Woodblock Prints Scenery of Japan, Shinshū

by Miyata Saburō, 1971

Germination (2)

IHL Cat. #1413

About This Print

The San-no-mon Gate at Komoro Castle (Komoro-jō), designated an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government, is depicted with the city of Komoro sitting beyond the gate with the active volcano Mount Asama in the background.  As with all Miyata's prints, this print's beauty is in its abstracted simplicity.  This print is number 3 in the third volume of prints titled Shinshū from the artist's 240 print, 12 volume compendium Miyata Saburō Collection of Woodblock Prints Scenery of Japan.

San-no-mon Gate 

Mount Asama viewed from Komoro
Komoro Castle

Komoro Castle, located in the city of Komoro in eastern Nagano Prefecture, is listed as one of the "100 Fine Castles of Japan" by the Japan Castle Foundation. The remains of the castle are located within Kaikoen, a park on the site also containing Fujimura Memorial Hall, Koyama Keizo Museum of Art, and a zoo.

Source: The Stone Walls of Komoro: Sachiko Hagiwara’s “Beautiful Castles” http://www.premium-j.jp/travel/42200/?lang=en
A fortification of some sort is said to have stood in Komoro for some time, but the castle took its current form during Japan’s Warring States period in the 16th century. Daimyo Takeda Shingen controlled it for thirty years after seizing control of the area in 1554, ordering his trusted ministers Yamamoto Kansuke and Baba Nobufusa to renovate it for the Takeda clan’s needs. 

After the clan was destroyed, the area came under the control first of Oda Nobunaga, and eventually Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo period. The castle finally took on its modern form in 1590 under the control of Sengoku Hidehisa, an advisor to Toyotomi, first unifier of Japan (later to be defeated by Ieyasu). The current castle town was also created by Hidehisa. Several decades later, the castle came under the direct control of the Tokugawa family, and as it was in a strategically important location this situation continued for most of the Edo period. 

Mount Asama

Mount Asama, an active volcano standing 2,568 metres (8,425 ft) above sea level on the border of Gunma and Nagano prefectures, last erupted in June 2015. In 1783, a large-scale eruption resulted in more than 1,000 deaths and the destruction of many homes. There were 398 eruptions in 1941 and 287 eruptions in 1954. An eruption in 2009 deposited volcanic ash across the southern stretches of Kanto, but the eruption was classified as small-scale, as was the 2015 eruption.

About the Series "Miyata Saburō Collection of Woodblock Prints - Scenery of Japan"

Consisting of twelve volumes, each containing twenty woodblock prints depicting scenic locations around Japan, Miyata spent fourteen years from 1970 to 1984 producing the series, which he carved and printed himself in a limited edition of 100 prints each.  Most if not all the places depicted were actually visited by the artist.  Miyata followed this massive series of 240 prints with a printed compendium of the prints titled Miyata Saburō mokuhanga zenshū 宮田三郎木版画全集 (The Complete Woodblock Prints of Miyata Saburō), release in limited edition in five volumes in 1983-1984.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1413
小諸城と浅間山 Komoro-jō to Asamayama
 Komoro Castle and Mount Asayama
 Series Miyata Saburō Collection of Woodblock Prints Scenery of Japan
 宮田三郎木版画集―日本の風景・信州 第三集 (1971年)
 Miyata Saburō Mokuhanga shū Nihon no fūkei・Shinshū, Collection Number 3
 Miyata Saburō (1924-2013)
ミヤタ サブロウ Miyata Saburō in kana with unread black superimposed character (possibly  or "sa")
 Publication Date 1971
百冊限定版の内 (limited edition of 100), as stamped on the left side of the bottom margin
 Publisher the artist in conjunction with the Tokyo Print Research Institute
 Tokyo Hanga Kenkyūsho 東京版画研究所
 Printer self-printed
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - mounting tape remnants bottom left margin; minor foxing mainly visible in bottom margin; handling/printing wrinkles
 Genre sosaku-hanga (creative print)
 Miscellaneous print number 3 in the table of contents of the 3rd volume
 Format dai-ōban
 H x W Paper 15 1/2 x 20 1/8 in. (39.4 x 51.2 cm)
 H x W Image 12 1/8 x 15 7/8 in. (30.8 x 40.3 cm)
 Collections This Print
 Reference Literature