The Sixty Nine Stations of the Kisokaido
National Geographic Books, 23 set 2008 - 159 pagine
Reproduced from the finest surviving edition of the original manuscript, this book offers an unforgettable portrait of daily life in 19th century Japan. Each plate teems with unique characters, from beggars and brawling men to boaters and finely clothed women; and the artists' gentle humor imbues them all with remarkable, human vitality. Behind the travelers loom castles, cities, powerful waterfalls and other sites familiar to lovers of Japanese history. Readers will travel from station to station through changing seasons, rural roads and city streets, on a journey that explores every stratum of a diverse society.
Commentary by art scholar and curator Sebastian Izzard, Ph.D. accompanies each image, offering new insights into the artists' processes, and into the survival of their work. Many of the wood blocks used in printing the original Sixty Nine Stations changed radically after the early editions, and Izzard addresses the protean nature of each image. His commentary details the manuscript's survival during the dramatic social shifts and economic hardship of Hiroshige and Eisen's time, urging an appreciation for its evolution over the years. The Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kisokaido tells the story of a landmark, immortal artists, and an enduring masterpiece. 71 color images.