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Kami Daigō-ji from the Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces

Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874-1964)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Kami Daigō-ji (temple 11)

from the Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces

by Nakazawa Hiromitsu, 1925 and 1946

Illustrated Account of the Sino-Japanese War, Volume 7

IHL Cat. #2413.19 (1925)
(from the complete 1925 album of prints IHL Cat. #2413)

IHL Cat. #1859 (1946)

About This Print

Kami Daigō-ji, a complex of some of the oldest temple buildings in Japan, is the upper precinct of Daigō-ji and is the 11th temple on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. Nakazawa presents us with a view of a shrine building with a sign on its post reading 西國第十一番靈場納経所 (Saigoku sanjūsan reijo nōkyō-sho), telling us we're visiting the eleventh sacred place on the Saigoku pilgrimage and a donation of money or a sutra can be left there. Off to the right we see a bluish stone marker leading the way to Iwama-dera 岩間寺, the 12th temple along the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. 

Along with his two traveling companions, the poet Ishikura Suiyō and the artist Akatsuka Chūichi, Nakazawa undertook this 600 mile pilgrimage in December 1923, only three months after the Great Kantō Earthquake devastated the Tokyo area. 

The Temple

Located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, on Kasatoriyama (Mt. Daigō), Kami Daigō-ji was founded in 874 by the scholar priest Shōbō (posthumously "Rigen-daishi"). It is closely associated with Hideyoshi Toyotomi (1537-1598) who was responsible for extensive renovation of the buildings in the sixteenth century. Daigō-ji is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994.

It is the only temple in Japan to feature the bodhisattva Kannon Juntei as its main enshrined image (honzon). Emperor Daigō is said to have prayed to this Kannon for the successful production of an heir, after which his wife gave birth to twin sons who each served as emperor in succession. The image is still thought to bring fertility and easy childbirth. Emperor Daigō entered the priesthood here after his abdication in 930. 

In 1994, Daigō-ji was designated a World Cultural Heritage Site.

Juntei Hall was originally built in 866. But the present building was reconstructed in 1968.
The statue of Juntei Kannon to which the hall is dedicated is usually kept hidden.
On 18th of May every year, however, the service ceremony called Gokaihi (Opening Door)
is held and the statue is opened to public for three days.

The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage (Saigoku sanjūsansho junrei) 

Japan's most famous pilgrimage, originating in the 11th century, encompasses 33 Buddhist temples in Western Japan (Kansai region) dedicated to Kannon (bodhisattva Avalokitasvara), the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who hears the cries of the world and assists anyone in distress.

The 33 temples on the approximately 1,000 kilometer pilgrimage route correspond to Kannon's ability to take on 33 different forms. One hundred thousand pilgrims navigate the route in its entirety or part each year.

Note: For a listing of all 33 temples go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saigoku_Kannon_Pilgrimage. To access an interactive map of the route and its temples go to https://www.thetempleguy.org/p/saigoku-33-kannon-route.html and scroll down towards the bottom of the page.

About the "Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces" 

First issued in 1925 and reprinted in 1946, the 1925 album contains 58 prints and the 1946 album 59 prints. For detailed discussion of the two editions and additional information on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage see this site's article Nakazawa Hiromitsu - Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces.

Nakazawa Hiromitsu - Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces
click on the image to go to the article

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #1859 (1946 second edition) and #2413.19 (1925 first edition)
 Title or Description Kami Daigō-ji (temple 11)
 上醍醐寺 (十一)
 Series Picture Album of the Thirty-Three Pilgrimage Places of the Western Provinces
 西国三十三所巡礼画巻 Saigoku sanjūsansho junrei gakan
 Artist Nakazawa Hiromitsu (1874-1964)
IHL Cat. #2413.19 (1925 release): 中澤弘光 [Nakazawa Hiromitsu] printed in lower right margin as shown left

IHL Cat. #1859 (1946 release): not signed
 Seal of the artist
弘 Hiro
left seal: IHL Cat. #2413.19 (1925 release)
right seal: IHL Cat. 1859 (1946 release)
 Publication DateIHL Cat. #2413.19: Published September 28, 1925 大正十四年九月十八日発行 as printed in the 1925 album's colophon (see Album Box with Print of Kannon IHL Cat. #2413).
Note: an earlier date of June 15, 1925 大正十四年六月十五日 appears in the right margin of the print titled Matsunoo-dera [IHL Cat. #2245], the only print in the 1925 album which carries a date. This earlier date, however, is the date that the censor's approval was obtained, as further explained on this site's web page for Matsunoo-dera, rather than the publishing date.

IHL Cat. #1859: January 18, 1946 昭和二十一年一月十八日発行 [Individual prints in the 1946 release are not dated. This date taken from a 1946 album colophon.] 
 Publisher 發行者 金尾種次郎 publisher Kanao Tanejirō
 發兌元 金尾文淵堂 publishing house Kanao Bun'endō

IHL Cat. #2413.19 (1925 release): 文淵堂版 [Bun'endō han] printed in lower right margin as shown left

IHL Cat. #1859 (1946 release): no publisher seal

 Carver Okada Seijirō 岡田清次郎
Note: the album's colophon (see Album Box with Print of Kannon IHL Cat. 2413) lists two carvers, the above well-known Okada Seijirō and 大倉藤太郎, possibly read Okura Tōtarō, who I can find no information on. 
 Printer IHL Cat. #2413.19 (1925 release): Nishimura Kumakichi 西村熊吉
Note: the colophon for the 1925 album (see Album Box with Print of Kannon IHL Cat. 2413) lists three printers, the above well-known Nishmura Kumakichi; 山県秀助, possibly read Yamagata Hidesuki, who I can find no information on, and 松本兄弟堂, a company founded in Osaka by Matsumoto Kisaburō 松本喜三郎 in 1923, which I believe did the letterpress printing. 

 IHL Cat. #1859 (1946 release): Nishimura Kumakichi 西村熊吉 and
Takagi Seikō (Takagi Kiyomitsu?) 高木淸光
Note: the above information is taken from the colophon included in the 1946 release. I could find no information on the second printer listed for the 1946 release 高木淸光.

Note on Nishimura Kumakichi: listed as one of the printers for both the 1925 and 1946 release, there is some uncertainty about the date of his death, although a birth date, either 1861 or 1862 [Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints, Merritt, p. 223], is generally accepted. A death date of 1941 is sometimes given and 1955 has been suggested, but Merritt provides no date of death. If he truly did the printing for the 1946 release he would have been around 85 at that time. 
 Impression IHL Cat. #2413.19 (1925 release): excellent
 IHL Cat. #1859 (1946 release): excellent
 Colors IHL Cat. #2413.19 (1925 release): excellent
 IHL Cat. #1859 (1946 release): excellent
 Condition IHL Cat. #2413.19 (1925 release): good - minor damage to margins in lower right; minor handling creases
 IHL Cat. #1859 (1946 release): excellent - mounting residue three place along top verso
 Genre shin hanga; shasei kikō (sketch-tour)
temple/print number 11 appearing in the right margin of the 1925 release
 Format horizontal oban
 H x W Paper 
 IHL Cat. #2413.19 (1925 release): 10 1/8 x 15 1/4 in. (25.7 x 38.7 cm)
 IHL Cat. #1859 (1946 release): 9 5/8 x 13 3/4 in. (24.4 x 34.9 cm)
 H x W Image
 IHL Cat. #2413.19 (1925 release): 8 1/2 x 11 9/16 (21.6 x 29.4 cm)
 IHL Cat. #1859 (1946 release): 8 1/2 x 11 1/2 in. (21.6 x 29.2 cm)
 Literature  Nakazawa Hiromitsu kenkyū: Hon karano kenshō, Hiromitsu Nakazawa, Mitsunobu Satō, et. al., Mitsui Kōkei, Tokyo, 2006, p. 46-48.
 Collections This Print
 National Diet Library Call Number 寄別7-8-2-5 (1925 album, no images displayed); National Library Board, Singapore BRN:9854371 (entire 1946 album, no images shown); British Library System number: 017018582 (entire 1946 album, no images shown)Harvard Yenching Library HOLLIS number 990082993710203941 (1925 album, no images displayed)

last revision:
1/6/2020 created