Edo prints

  Design: Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)  
  Title: Hokusai manga, Volume 4  
  Size: 22.7 x 15.7 cm  
  Posthumous printing from the original woodblocks    
  Photography: Jacques Commandeur
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Hokusai Sumida Gawa Ehon 1


Originally released in 1816 in Nagoya by publisher Eirakuya Tōshirō, whose firm was called Tōhekidō. This is the second edition released by the same publisher on 1 September 1878.

Greyish book cover with embossed repeated diamond shaped pattern.

Title printed in red on a white slip on the book cover:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
katsu arrowroot  
shika decorate Katsushika
i change  
itsu one one year old again
i leave behind  
boku black ink brushwork
hoku north  
sai room  
man random Random sketches
ga drawing of Hokusai
shi four  
hen volume Volume 4
zen all All in one

This is the title page of the second edition of Hokusai manga Volume 4:

Hokusai Manga Volume 4 title page

Volume title in the large middle column of this title page:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
hoku north  
sai room  
man random Random sketches
ga drawing of Hokusai
shi four  
hen volume Volume 4

On the right of the page is the publication date:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
bun text  
ka turn oneself into  
hinoe*) third calendar sign  
ne rat  
shin new New publication of Bunka,
koku carve year of the rat (i.e., 1816)

and the firm name of the publisher is on the left:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
bi tail  
heki wall Tōhekidō
temple of Biyō

Seal on the verso of the title page:

Hokusai Manga Volume 4 seal

The full contents of the first edition of Volume 4 of the Hokusai manga are displayed on the website of the British Museum here, as well as in the book by Forrer (2014) containing photographic reproductions of all fifteen Hokusai manga volumes including explanations of each image in French.


Provenance: Yagiya Bobongua store

*) Hinoe combines hi (fire, one of the five elements) and e (yang).

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