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Zensetsū temple, Sanshū from the series Collection of Scenic Views of Japan II, Kansai edition


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Zensetsū temple, Sanshū

from the series

Collection of Scenic Views of Japan II, Kansai edition

by Kawase Hasui, originally 1937

IHL Cat. #289

About This Print

Source: Honolulu Academy of Arts http://art.honoluluacademy.org/emuseum/view/objects/asitem/9/542/primaryMaker-asc?t:state:flow=eb6afd69-6ec4-4fdd-bd4c-f50ecb860eeb
This print shows the temple of Zentsūji in Shikoku, an important pilgrimage site closely connected with the influential Heian-period Buddhist monk Kūkai, who brought the esoteric teachings of the Shingon sect from China, and established this temple in 807. Like his 19th century predecessor Hiroshige, Hasui was well known for his use of atmospheric effects such as rain and mist, and this is a typical composition for the artist depicting the pagoda of Zentsūji on a rainy day.

Catalog Raisonné Entry

Source: Kawase Hasui; The Complete WoodblockPrints,
Kendall Brown, Amy Reigle Newland, Amsterdam, Hotei Publishing, KIT Publishers, 2003, p. 101.
TheZensetsū temple in present-day Kagawa prefecture represents the 75th ofthe eighty-eight temples on the Shikoku pilgrimage route.  Thepilgrimage originated with Kōbō Daishi (Kūkai, 774-835), who foundedthe Shingon sect of Buddhism and in 813 the Zensetsū temple.  Narazakiremarks that “The slightly bent gradient of the temple roof is felt inthis print… The composition is complex; it attempts to set up aperspective with the overlay of a stone lantern, Sanmon (main gate),pines, five-storied pagoda and visitors passing through the gate.”

Zensetsū temple today
Catalogue Raisonné
image and entry
334 Zensetsū temple, Sanshū
Series: Collection of scenic view of Japan II, Kansai edition
(Nihon fūkei shū II, Kansai hen, Sanshū Zensetsūji)

March 1937

Lack of Publisher's Seal
Source: Ukiyoe Gallery website http://www.ukiyoe-gallery.com/watasealpage1.htm
Special Note--"Missing" Watanabe Seals
Weare often asked about Watanabe-published prints (and typically, itseems, those by artist Hasui) which appear to be totally "missing"their expected 6mm or 7mm seals. Actually, as it turns out, such"un-sealed" prints (hand-applied) are not at all uncommon from WatanabePublisher. And perhaps this should not be a surprise, considering thepopularity of Hasui's prints combined with his amazing lifetime outputof some 550 images.

Having randomly examined several hundreds ofthese typically 1940's to 1960's era prints, it seems that about 1 inevery 10 to 15 of these older prints that we handle from Watanabe seemto be entirely missing any publisher's seal--either in the print'smargins or within the image. Sometimes, however, one does have to lookvery closely to locate the small, black, round 6mm seal--as it can bevery difficult to see and is sometimes placed a bit higher in the imagethan one might normally expect.

In any case, these 6mm or 7mmseals are always hand-applied..... and it seems quite simply thatWatanabe's staff occasionally forgot to do so. Although this can thenmake such a given print a bit more "difficult" to precisely date withina given time period, usually an "experienced eye" can still state witha "very high level of confidence" whether a print is of "6mm vintage"(that is, of the period 1946-57) based on an examination of the print'spaper and aging, printing quality, block wear, and other factors (seerelated article on "Old Paper"). In the judgment of these authors, theabsence of such a hand-applied seal does NOT or should not diminish thevalue of these randomly occurring and clearly older prints.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #289
 Title Zensetsū temple, Sanshū
 讃州 善通寺 Sanshū Zentsū-ji
 Series Collection of Scenic Views of Japan II, Kansai edition
 日本風景集II関西篇 Nihon fūkei shū II, Kansai hen, Sanshū Zensetsūji
 Kawase Hasui (1883-1957)
Hasui 巴水
 Seal Kawase seal (see above)
 Publication Date March 1937 original publication date. 
 Edition Unknown, but later lifetime impression without any Watanabe publisher seal.  (See "Lack of Publisher's Seal" above for discussion of missing Watanabe seals.)
 Publisher  Watanabe Shōzaburō
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - two pin holes left margin
 Genre shin hanga (new prints); fūkei-ga
 Format ōban tate-e
 H x W Paper 15 1/8 x 10 1/2 in. (38.4 x 25.2 cm)
 H x W Image 14 1/4 x 9 1/2 x in. (36.2 x 24.1 cm)
 Collections This Print Harvard Art Museum 1984.270 (unspecified edition); Los Angeles County Museum of Art M.2003.67.105 (later edition with 6mm seal); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 50.2895 (unspecified edition but print shown has no publisher’s seal); The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo P00138-044 (unspecified edition but print shown has 6mm publisher’s seal); Honolulu Academy of Arts 26633 (no seal)
 Reference LiteratureCatalogueRaisonné: Kawase Hasui; TheComplete Woodblock Prints, Kendall Brown, Amy Reigle Newland, Amsterdam, Hotei Publishing, KITPublishers, 2003, p. 101, pl. 334; Kawase Hasui and His Contemporaries: The Shin Hanga (New Print) Movement in Landscape Art, Irwin J. Patcher, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, 1986, p. 72, pl. 83
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