Hato [Surging Waves].

TOMIOKA Tessai calligraphy.; after designs by TAWARAYA Sotatsu (1910].)


Please contact us in advance if you would like to view this book at our Curzon Street shop.

First and only edition. 22 woodcut plates printed in ink and mica and a calligraphic frontispiece. Orihon. Folio, measuring 27x38cm. Original boards (made from handmade washi paper) with printed title, some fading to top and bottom of boards, minor damage to back board. Overall still a very good copy. Kyoto, Unsodo, dated: Meiji 43 [i.e. 

An extraordinary book inspired by the Rimpa-style patterns of waves painted by Tawaraya Sotatsu (c. 1570-1640) in the first half of the 17th century. Tomioka Tessai (1836-1924) a highly respected calligrapher and painter in the Chinese-inspired bunjinga tradition provided the calligraphy for the title and the frontispiece. In 1907 he was appointed official court painter to the Meiji Emperor and in 1919 became a member of the Imperial Fine Arts Academy (Teikoku Bijutsu-in) and his work was in great demand. The introductory page of Tessai's eccentric calligraphy reads "watching waves (kanto)". In many ways Sotatsu's 17th century renditions are repositioned in a decidedly modern context. The size and refinement of this book indicate that each plate was meant to be contemplated by the viewer. The different character of each plate plays with our emotions as they shift from moving to agitated to turbulent and even demonic before returning to calmer patterns. 

The printers Unsodo, who were founded in 1891 and are still in business to the present day, became renowned for the high quality of their book products and prints. The book was edited by Yamada Naosaburo. Rare. Only 2 copies in OCLC.

Stock Code: 246129

close zoom-in zoom-out close zoom