Kasamatsu Shiro: Tokyo Tower — 東京タワー - Japanese Art Open Database

Artist: Kasamatsu Shiro

Title: Tokyo Tower — 東京タワー

Date: 1959

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Source: Japanese Art Open Database
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Japanese Woodblock by Kasamatsu ‘Tokyo Tower’ (1959) A unusual and beautiful nighttime scene of a well-known Tokyo landmark titled in Japanese kanji (left margin) as “Tokyo Towa” which translates in English as “Tokyo Tower” by Shiro Kasamatsu (1898-1991). Bears artist’s signature/seal in upper right corner of image. Print bears Unsodo’s Publisher’s rectangular seal in left margin along with the carver/printer seals of Okura/Shinmi. Below that, importantly, is the “kanji margin-dating” of “Showa 34,” or 1959?since ONLY “first edition” prints are known to have such margin-dating?and additionally, it has recently been learned that only 100 such dated “first edition” prints were ever produced. Dr. Andreas Grund’s authoritative reference “The Complete Woodblocks of Shiro Kasamatsu” lists this print as #U101. Also bears “Gei” watermark (“gei” is the first kanji character of the of the Unsodo Publishers name, "Un-so-do,” which is spelled “gei” if alone) in the lower left corner. Circa 1950’s?first edition. Seldom seen, the presence of this print’s original (“kanji”) “margin-dating" seen in the lower left margin indicates that this print to be a FIRST EDITION printing. All later editions printed LACK this margin-dating, as upon competition of the first 100 prints, the Japanese dates were carved off of the “key-block.” To learn more about the dating of editions and prints by Unsodo Publisher, click the following link about about ”Unsodo Publisher.” Nicely printed?superbly executed “bokashi” (gradation of color) throughout the print. Crisp, sharp “key-lines.” Excellent “bleed-through” of colors to backside. Print is in very good condition?no tears, no fading, clean backside?does have two very minor areas of smudging or bleeding in the right lower margin only. (Note: Small “notch” cut into the lower right corner is known as a “kento cut” and is a necessary aid in the printing process as this ensures perfect alignment and “registration” of the many various woodblocks used during the printing of each color.) Image measures 9 ? x 14 3/8 inches.

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