東京 (Tokyo): 芸艸堂 (Unsodo), 1962. Revised edition. Softcover. Quartos. Unpaginated. 15 string-bound volumes in blue paper wrappers. White paper labels, with gilt lettering on the front covers. Housed in a large dark blue cloth-covered clamshell portfolio with a printed paper label on the front cover and, bone fasteners. English label on the spine of the portfolio. Gorgeous reproduction of the classic monumental work by Hokusai (1760-1849) originally issued in 15 volumes between 1812-1878. The first 12 volumes were issued by the artist during his lifetime, while volumes 13-14 were issued posthumously from previously unpublished material. The final volume includes a compilation of some previously published material, and of other work not even by Hokusai, and is therefore not considered authentic.
The vast amount of content covered in these "sketchbooks" consists of thousands of images, ranging from domestic and social scenes, animals, landscapes, plants, architecture, historical scenes, legends and martial arts, to masks as well as household and ritual objects. Of interesting note are some detailed close up images of firearms. Finely printed to reproduce the quality and look of the original editions, with images printed in b/w and hues of light pink. The set includes a 22-page informative text booklet in Japanese and English. Additionally the final section of each volume contains text in Japanese and English, relating to the specific content of the volume and giving additional technical and historical context.
Text in Japanese and English.
Portfolio with some light foxing to the label, and on the interior. A few of the wrappers with minor rubbing to corners. Foxing to the edges of book blocks. Interiors with some sporadic minor to light foxing mostly to top margins, with images almost entirely unaffected. Images clean, bold and bright. Portfolio in, very good, wrappers in very good to near fine, interiors in very good- to near fine. vg- to near fine. Item #46618