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Evening Sky, Suwa Shrine, Nippori


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Evening Sky, Suwa Shrine, Nippori

by Kasamatsu Shirō, originally 1932

Hazy Evening at Shinobazu Pond
IHL Cat. #1189

About This Print

A later edition of the original 1932 print depicting the torii leading to Suwa Shrine (諏方神社 Suwa jinja) in the Nippori district of Tokyo.  The sunset glow backlights this scene and a lone figure, a woman, perhaps with a baby on her back, is seen heading towards a shrine building. 

I find the baren marks on the verso of this collection's impression quite wonderful as can be seen on the detailed view of the print's verso above.  As with all images on this site, click on the image to see an enlarged image. 

Toledo Museum of Art, 1936 Exhibition of Modern Japanese Prints - Notes on the Original Edition

The original edition of this print was included in The Toledo Museum of Art's seminal 1936 exhibition Modern Japanese Prints: Wood-block Prints by Ten Artists, The Work of the Past Five Years.  The notes on this print appearing in the catalog of the exhibition are reproduced below.

Source: Modern Japanese Prints, Dorothy Blair, re-print of the 1931 and 1936 exhibition catalogues, The Toledo Museum of Art, 1997.
167 Evening Sky – Suwa Shrine, Nipporti (Yu-zora – Nippori Suwa Jinsha)

Stone steps and tori, or gateway, leading to the shrine. 14 ¼” x 9 7/16”

Signed at lower right, Shiro; red seal Shiro In” (Shiro’s mark). Left margin: the Japanese title; the date, “Showa Shichi Nen Aki” (Autumn of the 7th Year of Showa [March 1933]). Right margin: copyright stamp of the publisher, Watanabe of Tokyo. Blocks, about 20; superimposed printings, about 25; edition, 200.

Suwa Shrine

Built, c. 1205, in the early Kamakura period, this Shinto shrine stands on a small hill that once boasted unimpeded views of Mt Fuji and Tokyo.  The shrine is home to the Shinto deity who protects the Nippori and Yanaka districts.

Suwa Shrine today

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1189
 Title Evening Sky at Suwa Shrine, Nippori
 日暮里 諏方神社 Yûzora, Nippori Suwa Jinja
 Kasamatsu Shirō (1898–1991)
"Shirō" with "Shirō saku” (Shirō’s work) seal
 Seal Shirō saku (see above)
 Date originally published 1932, Autumn
 EditionLater edition (c. 1946-1957) with red circular 6 mm Watanabe seal in lower right hand corner of image.  
 PublisherWatanabe Shōzaburō
seal reading ワタナベ Watanabe
[Marks: seal 08-034; pub. ref. 576]
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent
 Genre shin hanga (new prints)
 Format ōban tate-e
 H x W Paper 15 1/8 x 10 3/8 in. (38.4 x 26.4 cm)
 H x W Image 14 3/16 x 9 7/16 in. (36 x 24 cm) 
 Collections This PrintArt Institute Chicago 1990.607.243 (unknown edition); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 50.2491 (with Watanabe black 6mm seal in lower left corner within block); Toledo Museum of Art 2006.170 (unknown edition); National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo P00211-006 (unknown edition)
 Reference Literature Catalogue Raisonné: W-10 as listed in Shiro Kasamatsu - The Complete Woodblock Prints, Dr. Andreas Gund, self-published by the author, 2001, Tokyo; Modern Japanese Prints, Dorothy Blair, re-print of the 1931 and 1936 exhibition catalogues, The Toledo Museum of Art, 1997, figure 167
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