Very uncommon Kunisada
prints for a Tokaido series from different artists designed in
Related to this series
Ch. van Rappard-Boon writes: " In the second month of 1863 the
shogun Iemochi travelled from Edo to Kyoto to pay his respects
to the emperor. Afterwards two special Tokaido series were
published to commemorate this journey. ... One of the series is
titled Tokaido and has prints by twelfe artists and
twenty-one publishers. ... Both series contain more than the
usual number of stations (55) ..." (L71, page 290).
About "The Tokaido" I read in an older Japanese auction catalogue that
the series include 150 prints plus frontispiece, index page and
And than Mr. Luigi Capretti sent me an email in which he wrote
that he inherited 160 prints (plus) of the series bound to a
book designed by 17 different artists (although the index sheet
lists only 13 artists).
All of the prints in Mr. Capretti´s book have wonderful bright
and fresh colours and may be first state and so I pleased him to
take photos and to allow me to publish them on my site.
With the friendly permission of the owner the complete series is
presented to the public for the first time on this site.
The prints in Mr. Capretti´s collection all have full
margins but the book has not been separated for taking the
photos so not the complete print can be seen on the images. If
anybody needs closeup pictures from details Mr. Capretti will
send them on request.
In January 2007 Andreas Marks published the results of his
investigations on this series in Andon 81 (the semi-annual
publication of the
Society for Japanese Arts). He found out that
three different tables of content were existing for the series,
all providing totally different numbers. The first lists 155
prints, the second 162 and a third from a re-printed album in
1865 lists only 55 prints. 16 artists designed the total number
of the 162 prints pubilshed by 24 different publishers.
This series is from
two vievs remarkable.
First the artistic view: Kunisada here designed croud of peoples
in front of a landscape. No other similar desings of him are
known to me.
Second a political aspect: The censor laws strictly forbids to
show the relationship between the bakufu and the tenno.
The fact that so much artists and
publishers participated in the production of this series for
this special event indicates a political manifestation.
system of bakufu stands shortly before his colaps, the
society wanted a new organisation. In these times most of
Japanese people took oposition against the shogunate´s
gouverment which has been replaced by the Tenno-system in 1865.
Kunisada as the head of the Utagawa clan designed 18 of the
series prints and all other known artists belongs to the clan
(Hiroshige II, Yoshimune, Chikamaro, Yoshimori, Kunitsuna,
Yoshitora, ????). The majority of the Utagawa clan seems to have
been for the Tenno gouverment.
No other to me known prints from the late Edo period shows a so clear
political intention like these.
Please send missing informations and new prints to:
For some more informations see:
The prints will be presented according to the order of Mr.