Japanese 20th Century Avant-Garde Catalog 

                      July 2021

In this catalog, we thought it would be interesting to showcase Japanese 20th-century material. We have created 4 categories - Avant-Garde collaborations in books and magazines, Mavo material, and the work of 2 individual artists, Kitasono Katue 北園克衛 and Onchi Kōshirō 恩地考四郎. The complex cross-fertilization of art between East and West is quite apparent and still of great interest in this collection of works from the early 19teens to the mid1950s. 

Please click on the links for photos and descriptions.

Enjoy!

Avant-Garde

 

 

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90442. [Avant Garde] Kindai Bijutsu Shichō Kōza L'Idee et L'Esprit de L'Art Moderne 近代美術思潮講座 Atelier-sha. Tokyo. Shôwa 12, 13 [1937, 1938]. Six volumes in printed publisher's slipcases. 22.5 x 16.3 cm. Cloth-bound western-style. A fascinating series of volumes. The critics Sagara Tokuzô and Araki Sueo wrote REALISME and FAUVISME, respectively. The artists Ihara Usaburo, Fukuzawa Ichiro, Kanbara Tai & Hasegawa Saburô wrote CUBISME; SURREALISME; FUTURISME, EXPRESSIONISME, DADAISME; and ABSTRACT ART. The product of a time when Japan justly felt itself to be firmly in the vanguard of world art. The spines are a bit darkened (one has a small gouge) and the slipcases a bit soiled, but overall a very good copy of this very unusual and important set. Some folded promotional sheets laid in. Not merely painting and printmaking, but also the plastic arts, and a bit of architecture, etc. are addressed in these wide-ranging and well-illustrated volumes. Complete, as issued.

$2,850.00

 

 

 

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89319. [AVANT-GARDE] UMEHARA Hokumei, et al. Bungei Shijō 文藝市場.  21.7 x 15cm literary markets magazine in paper wrappers. July issue, 169 pages.

First published in November of 1925, this issue of July 1927, towards the end of its run, unleashed its mordant humor on the literary world of Japan. At first solidly left-wing and immersed in the avant-garde, the magazine lasted for 19 issues, when Umehara Hokumei 梅原北明 (1901-1946) took his interests into even more scandalous avenues and began publishing Grotesque magazine, the heart of the ero-guro (エログロ) movement. This particular issue hints at the direction of Grotesque, with images and essays that explore topics that combine the erotic and the bizarre.

Wrappers are dust-soiled. Spine heavily chipped with loss of text.

$225.00

 

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90334. [Manuscript album]. Kanbara, Tai 神原 泰; Shunjō 春城; Taibokushi 大樸子; Hakuin 柏蔭 ... [et al.]. Enka-jō 烟霞帖. Titled 'An Album of Mist and Clouds,' this book features fourteen examples of hand-painted calligraphy and simple artworks from different artists, including an illustration by Kanbara Tai 神原泰 (1898-1997). Kanbara was early on one of the most important members of the avant-garde in Japan and was an early proponent of Futurism, being a schoolboy correspondent of Marinetti. The double-page spread by Kanbara features an illustration of a woman and the words 'Tu es une jolie fille. - Peut-etre plus que tu ne crois. de Bilitis. Tai Kambara, le 6 avril 1941', the first two lines of which are a quote from Pierre Louys's 'Chansons de Bilitis' (1895). Albums such as this one were often made in the Showa period for friends to collect samples of each other's calligraphy and art, and also as 'autograph books'. Illustrations and calligraphy appear on both sides of this particular folding album, and the illustrations (some painted in black ink, some in colour) feature flowers, vegetables, animals, landscapes, and so on. While most of the other artists in the album are unknown, the artist who has signed his name 'Taibokushi' may be Murakamo Taibokushi, an artist heavily involved in the proletarian art movement in Japan in the late Taishō to early Shōwa period. Original orihon (accordion-style) binding with original handwritten title slip, signed and sealed by an unknown artist Shunjō 春城.

Extremities lightly worn, all edges gilt. Occasional minor foxing. Comes in original slipcase, slightly frayed at extremities and with an ex-bookseller sticker to inner folding flap, original handwritten title slip signed and stamped by Taibokushi 大樸子 intact, if a little browned. 1 v., complete. 14 double-pages. 17.8 x 11.7 cm. All text except Kanbara's entry is in Japanese. A beautiful album in nice condition featuring a rare hand-painted illustration by celebrated artist Kanbara Tai.  

$2,850.00

 

 

 

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90421. Umehara Hokumei 梅原北明, Murayama Tomoyoshi 村山知義, et al. Bungei Shijō 文藝市場. Tokyo. Shōwa 2 [1927]. [Avant Garde]. 21.7 x 15cm literary markets magazine in paper wrappers. July issue, 169 pages.
First published in November of 1925, this issue of July 1927, towards the end of its run, unleashed its mordant humor on the literary world of Japan. At first, solidly left-wing and immersed in the avant-garde, the magazine lasted for 19 issues, when Umehara  Hokumei 梅原北明 (1901-1946) took his interests into even more scandalous avenues and began publishing Grotesque magazine, the heart of the ero-guro (エログロ) movement. This particular issue hints at the direction of Grotesque, with images and essays that explore topics that combine the erotic and the bizarre.

Wrappers are dust-soiled. Spine heavily chipped with loss of text.

$125.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

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90863. Takiguchi Shūzō 瀧口修造, author and Abe Yoshifumi (also Yoshibumi, Abe Nobuya) 阿部芳文 (阿部展也), artist. Yōsei no Kyori 妖精の距離 [Fairy’s Distance]. Showa 12 [1937]. Tokyo: Shunchōkai 春鳥会. 30.3 x 24.5cm folio of poetry with a magnifying glass design on the front cover. Three single sheets 30.2 x 24.2cm: one with title page, one with an index and one with a colophon on one side and limitation on the other. 12 folded sheets 30.2 x 24.2cm closed, each with a poem on the right in Japanese facing an Abstract/Surrealist print on the left.

I have consulted with several individuals with considerable expertise in the field, in both the trade and academia. We all agree that the prints are probably not sekiban 石版 (stone litho), but we are uncertain of the process. What is clear is that this is one of the rarest avant-garde books of that era in Japan. Yōsei no Kyori 妖精の距離 [Fairy’s Distance] is 61 of 100 copies and the author’s first poetry art book.

Takiguchi Shūzō 瀧口修造 (1903 - 1979) was a Japanese artist, poet and collector born in Toyama prefecture and is considered the most important surrealist in Japan. He was influenced by European artists, such as André Breton, eventually translating one of his works from French into Japanese in 1930. Takiguchi is credited with starting the avant-garde group Jikken Kobo 実験工房 (Experimental Workshop) in 1951. He participated in and organized the Japanese pavilion for the 1958 Venice Biennale, which is when he was able to meet his European counterparts, such as Breton, Salvador Dalí and Marcel Duchamp. He went on to collaborate with Jasper Johns and Joan Miro. His work is held worldwide, including at MOMA in New York City and The British Museum in London. The artwork is by Abe Yoshifumi (also Yoshibumi, Abe Nobuya) 阿部芳文 (阿部展也), (1913-1971) a Niigata Prefecture-born artist, painter, photographer and graphic designer. His work has been exhibited internationally, in group and solo exhibitions in Italy and at MOMA in NYC. 1 copy found in WorldCat held at the National Diet Library in Japan.

Toning of pages and folio with dust staining of folio and a stain on rear cover. Crease on top right hand corner. Artwork and poetry in good condition.

See Tate Museum online, MOMA and The British Museum, accessed May 4, 2021. https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/j/jikken-kobo-experimental-workshop

https://www.moma.org/collection/works/17236?artist_id=14022&page=1&sov_referrer=artist

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/term/BIOG172324

https://www.moma.org/artists/14022

$16,000.00

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90778. Gutai Henshū Iinkai 具体編集委員会. Gutai, Vol 8 具体 8. Tokyo, Sept 1957. 25.2 x 26.3cm magazine with [44 pp] of black and white and color photographs of artworks, identified with artist’s names. Partial publisher’s cardboard enclosure with title printed in French on front and in Japanese on rear: L'Aventure Informelle / アヴァンチュール アンフオルメル. This issue focuses on L'art informel (Art Informel) and Gutai. Opened western style, the first pages are an introduction and essay in French by critic and promoter Michel Tapié (1909 - 1907), and when opened Japanese style, the introduction and essay are in Japanese. Further text by Tapié and Gutai group co-founder and artist Yoshihara Jirō 吉原治良 (1905 - 1972).

Gutai was a radical post-war art movement that preceded performance art in the US by a decade. The Gutai Art Association (具体美術協会 Gutai Bijutsu Kyōkai) or Gutai Group was formed in 1954 by Yoshihara and Shimamoto Shōzō 嶋本昭三 (1928 - 2013) and was active until 1972. The physical nature of their art (gutai 具体 roughly translates to “embodiment” or “concrete”) resulted in kinetic paintings, 3-dimensional sculptures and performances. Audiences came to expect the unexpected. A Gutai Group artist might burst through hanging sheets of paper, paint with his feet while swinging on ropes or wrestle with the paints directly on the canvas, pushing the boundaries of the avant-garde Mavo movement that preceded it.

The Gutai magazine was an important way to record the group’s art and concepts and extend to audiences abroad. One of those whom the magazine reached was Michel Tapié (1909 - 1987), a French critic and collector. Tapié was a supporter of what he called “L'art informel” (Art Informel); encompassing international art that transcended what was then categorized as modern art. He was a great promoter of The Gutai Group, and it is believed he found them through this periodical.

Art represented in this issue is by Gutai group members and American and European artists, including Appel, Baj, Burri, James Brown, Coetzee, de Kooning, Falkenstein, Sam Francis, Kline, Lee Krasner, Motherwell, Pollock, Tápies, Wols, Kanayama, Kinoshita, Murakami, Motonaga, Siraga, Shimamoto, Atsuko Tanaka, Socu Teshigahara, Yamasaki, Yoshida and Michio Yoshihara.

Internationally recognized for their contribution to modern art, Gutai artist’s works are held in the Guggenheim Museum, Tate Modern, Tate Gallery, and MOMA, as well as other institutions in Japan and abroad.

Very few issues were printed and as a result, copies of the original are hard to find.  

Damage to cardboard enclosure which has a missing flap. The journal itself is complete. Good condition. Rare.

$3,000.00

 

 

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90575.Kokusai Bunka 国際文化 La Inter-Kulto Year 1, Issue # 2 (Kokusai Bunka Kenkyūjo Kikanshi 国際文化研究所機関誌). Kokusai Bunka Kenkyūjo 国際文化研究所, publisher. December 1928 Shōwa 3 昭和三年12月. Tokyo. 22 x 14.8cm volume with 296 pages of printed Japanese text, artwork and photos on the socialist movement in Japan and abroad, some being translations. Initial and final pages comprise notices and advertisements, including ones for Russian language study and socialist publications, such as Senki 戦旗. Table of contents in Japanese and well as a table of contents in Esperanto on the rear wrapper. Written at the height of pre-WW II Esperanto in Japan. The publication was written at the height of Esperanto pre-WW II in Japan. One article is by the well known novelist, writer and producer Murayama Tomoyoshi 村山 知義 (1901 – 1977). (See page 269.) He was a member of the Japan Communist Party and arrested a number of times for his anti-establishment plays and political views. A Japanese character in the lower right hand corner of the front wrapper near the spine reads “永” [Naga], indicating that the cover artwork may have been done by I. or S. Nagata. Both are listed on the rear wrapper, though they are likely the same individual given other inconsistencies in the spelling/listing of Japanese names. Nagata Isshu (or Nagata Kazunaga) 永田一脩, an article contributor (see page 284) is likely the well-known photographer and author who lived from 1903-1988 and was an editor of the magazine from 1929. He also wrote a book on socialism and art titled Proletaria Kaigaron プロレタリア繪畫論 and it seems may have been the cover artist. In his article Talking to the World: Esperanto and Popular Internationalism in Pre-war Japan, Ian Rapley, lecturer in East Asian History at Cardiff University, writes, “Socialism had retained a place within Esperanto in Japan since 1906, coexisting with all the other forms of Esperantismo, but in the 1920s an explicitly proletarian theory began to develop, seeded by ideas from the Soviet Union, arguing for a revolutionary form of Esperanto distinct from the existing ‘bourgeois’ movement. The two groups increasingly developed into distinct, parallel communities. The mainstream movement continued much as before, but the proletarian movement published its own textbooks, ran its own courses, and created its own organisations, tied to the wider proletarian arts movement.” Wear and foxing to front and rear wrappers and slight chipping on top fore-corner of spine. Rare.

$185.00

 

 

 

Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, born Hashimoto Kenkichi 橋本健吉 in 1902, came to age as an artist in Tokyo in the wake of the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. With an eye toward international art movements, he was influenced by all of the major -isms of the 20th century, and was at the forefront of the Surrealist movement in Japan. He was known for his poetry and later, “Plastic Poetry,” which conversely influenced the international Avant-Garde community. His creativity spanned both poetic and visual art forms and he was known as a poet, photographer, and graphic designer.

 

 

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88411. Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, et al. Ama No Mayu 天の繭. Tenmeisha, Shôwa 21 [1946]. 8vo, 18.4 x 13.0 cm. This slender wrappered pamphlet, containing work by Kitasono Katue 北園克衛 (1902-1978), Murano Shiro (1901-75) and Osada Tsuneo (1902-77), was published within months of the end of WWII, when Tôkyô still lay in ruins. It is a remarkable testament to the durability of the Japanese artistic spirit.

Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, born Hashimoto Kenkichi 橋本健吉 in 1902, came to age as an artist in Tokyo in the wake of the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. With an eye toward international art movements, he was influenced by all of the major -isms of the 20th century, and was at the forefront of the Surrealist movement in Japan. He was known for his poetry and later, “Plastic Poetry,” which conversely influenced the international Avant-Garde community. His creativity spanned both poetic and visual art forms and he was known as a poet, photographer, and graphic designer.

We refer you to the several works of John Solt, both translations and critical essays, as well as several exhibitions dedicated to Kitasono mounted here and in Europe, as well. See also the LACMA online ref accessed June 2021 https://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/kitasono-katue-surrealist-poet

Very good condition, complete as issued. 

$285.00

 

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88836. Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, poet & Onchi Kōshirō 恩地孝四郎, artist. Shishû 詩集 Natsu No Tegami 夏の手紙. . Tôkyô, Aoi Shobô, Shôwa 12 [1937] Folio, 30.0 X 22.0 cm, #11 of 200 copies printed.

The binding, the typography, the illustrations, all combine as a fluid visual container for Kitasono's brilliant poems. Interesting to compare this work to the other collaboration (done by the same publisher a year later) of Onchi Kōshirō 恩地孝四郎 (1891-1955) and Kitasono Katue 北園克衛 (1902-1978), SABOTEN-TÔ. On an interesting side note, when Kitasono sent a copy of this book to his friend Ezra Pound, for whom he had obtained a lucrative position for the JAPAN TIMES as Italian correspondent, the latter confessed he could not even begin to read it (his Chinese was poor and his Japanese non-existent).

Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, born Hashimoto Kenkichi 橋本健吉 in 1902, came to age as an artist in Tokyo in the wake of the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. With an eye toward international art movements, he was influenced by all of the major -isms of the 20th century, and was at the forefront of the Surrealist movement in Japan. He was known for his poetry and later, “Plastic Poetry,” which conversely influenced the international Avant-Garde community. His creativity spanned both poetic and visual art forms and he was known as a poet, photographer, and graphic designer.

We refer you to the several works of John Solt, both translations and critical essays, as well as several exhibitions dedicated to Kitasono mounted here and in Europe, as well. See also the LACMA online ref accessed June 2021 https://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/kitasono-katue-surrealist-poet

Fine condition, complete as issued. We can locate only two institutional holdings, the British Museum and Mount Holyoke College. We have handled another copy of this work, which had a wraparound case, but research indicates that was not an original case, but was commissioned later, perhaps by the original collector. Complete and lovely.

 

$3,000.00

 

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88410. Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, poet. Fūdo 風土. Shôshinsha, Shôwa 18 [1943]. 8vo, 20.4 x 14.0 cm. One of 1500 copies. An example of the "plastic poetry" of Kitasono Katue 北園克衛 (1902-1978). The dust wrapper, cover, the typography, all combine as a fluid visual container for Kitasono's brilliant poems. Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, born Hashimoto Kenkichi 橋本健吉 in 1902, came to age as an artist in Tokyo in the wake of the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. With an eye toward international art movements, he was influenced by all of the major -isms of the 20th century, and was at the forefront of the Surrealist movement in Japan. He was known for his poetry and later, “Plastic Poetry,” which conversely influenced the international Avant-Garde community. His creativity spanned both poetic and visual art forms and he was known as a poet, photographer, and graphic designer.
 
We refer you to the several works of John Solt, both translations and critical essays, as well as several exhibitions dedicated to Kitasono mounted here and in Europe, as well. See also the LACMA online ref accessed June 2021 https://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/kitasono-katue-surrealist-poet

Very good condition, complete as issued.

$750.00

 

  

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88453. Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, poet. Garasu No Kuchihige ガラスの口髭 poéme interieur. Tôkyô, Kokubunsha, 1956, #77 of 280cc. White, paper-covered boards in printed dustwrapper. 18.4 x 15.3 cm. Near fine poetry collection of Kitasono Katue 北園克衛 (1902-1978). Excerpts from this "Glass Moustache" collection were examined eloquently by John Solt in his work on Kitasono: SHREDDING THE TAPESTRY OF MEANING. See also the LACMA online ref accessed June 2021 https://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/kitasono-katue-surrealist-poet.

Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, born Hashimoto Kenkichi 橋本健吉 in 1902, came to age as an artist in Tokyo in the wake of the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. With an eye toward international art movements, he was influenced by all of the major -isms of the 20th century, and was at the forefront of the Surrealist movement in Japan. He was known for his poetry and later, “Plastic Poetry,” which conversely influenced the international Avant-Garde community. His creativity spanned both poetic and visual art forms and he was known as a poet, photographer, and graphic designer.

Near fine copy, quite unusual.

$485.00

 

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88413. Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, poet. Katai Tamago 固い卵. Tokyo, Hanronsha, Showa 16 [1941]. 8vo, 21.6 x 15.4 cm. Limited edition, number 131 of 150 copies. Decorated cream boards in the original red dustwrapper.

Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, born Hashimoto Kenkichi 橋本健吉 in 1902, came to age as an artist in Tokyo in the wake of the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. With an eye toward international art movements, he was influenced by all of the major -isms of the 20th century and was at the forefront of the Surrealist movement in Japan. He was known for his poetry and later, “Plastic Poetry,” which conversely influenced the international Avant-Garde community. His creativity spanned both poetic and visual art forms and he was known as a poet, photographer, and graphic designer.

Please see the selected works of John Solt, both translations and critical essays, as well as several exhibitions dedicated to Kitasono, mounted here and in Europe. See also the LACMA online ref accessed June 2021 https://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/kitasono-katue-surrealist-poet.

Near fine condition in the slightly worn dustwrapper, complete as issued, in the original publisher's plain slipcase...

$950.00

 

 

 

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88409. Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, poet. Suematsu Masaki 末松正樹, artist. Mahiro No Remon 真昼のレモン. Tôkyô, Shôshinsha, 1954. Folio, 32.0 x 24.5 cm. One of 30 deluxe copies (#9) of a total edition of 330 copies. Signed in bold calligraphy by Kitasono Katue 北園克衛 (1902-1978).

This example of Kitasono's "Plastic Poetry" has 3 full-page color prints by Suematsu Masaki 末松正樹 (1908-97). The slipcase, hardcover, and typography all combine as a fluid visual container for Kitasono's brilliant poems.

Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, born Hashimoto Kenkichi 橋本健吉 in 1902, came to age as an artist in Tokyo in the wake of the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. With an eye toward international art movements, he was influenced by all of the major -isms of the 20th century, and was at the forefront of the Surrealist movement in Japan. He was known for his poetry and later, “Plastic Poetry,” which conversely influenced the international Avant-Garde community. His creativity spanned both poetic and visual art forms and he was known as a poet, photographer, and graphic designer.

Please see the selected works of John Solt, both translations and critical essays, as well as several exhibitions dedicated to Kitasono mounted here and in Europe. See also the LACMA online ref accessed June 2021 https://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/kitasono-katue-surrealist-poet Fine condition, complete as issued.

$3,600.00

  

 

 

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88412. "Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, poet. Suematsu Masaki 末松正樹, artist. Mahiro No Remon 真昼のレモン. Tôkyô, Shôshinsha, 1954. Small Folio, 27.2 x 18.7 cm. Out of series copy from the standard limited edition of 300 copies. There was also a large-format special edition of 30cc. This example is distinguished by the fact that it is inscribed by Kitasono Katue 北園克衛 (1902-1978) to the literary critic poet and translator, Andô Ichiro 安藤一郎 (1907-72), who wrote important critical work on Kitasono. Has 3 full-page color prints by Suematsu Masaki 末松正樹 (1908-97).

An example of Kitasono's "Plastic Poetry". The dustwrapper, hardcover, and typography all combine as a fluid visual container for Kitasono's brilliant poems. Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, born Hashimoto Kenkichi 橋本健吉 in 1902, came to age as an artist in Tokyo in the wake of the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. With an eye toward international art movements, he was influenced by all of the major -isms of the 20th century, and was at the forefront of the Surrealist movement in Japan. He was known for his poetry and later, “Plastic Poetry,” which conversely influenced the international Avant-Garde community. His creativity spanned both poetic and visual art forms and he was known as a poet, photographer, and graphic designer.

Please see the works of John Solt, both translations and critical essays, as well as several exhibitions dedicated to Kitasono mounted here and in Europe, as well. See also the LACMA online ref accessed June 2021 https://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/kitasono-katue-surrealist-poet. Slight browning, else fine condition, complete as issued.

$950.00

 

 


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88454. Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, translator. Les Joues En Feu. Hi No Hoho 火の頬. Tôkyô, Hakusuisha, 1953, Decorated paper-covered boards in printed slipcase. 19.4 x 14.2 cm.

Translation of Raymond Radiguet's poetry by surrealist poet Kitasono Katue 北園克衛 (1902-1978). Kitasono Katue 北園克衛, born Hashimoto Kenkichi 橋本健吉 in 1902, came to age as an artist in Tokyo in the wake of the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. With an eye toward international art movements, he was influenced by all of the major -isms of the 20th century, and was at the forefront of the Surrealist movement in Japan. He was known for his poetry and later, “Plastic Poetry,” which conversely influenced the international Avant-Garde community. His creativity spanned both poetic and visual art forms and he was known as a poet, photographer, and graphic designer.

Near fine copy, quite unusual. 

 

$600.00

Mavo was an early independent Japanese “avant-garde” movement heavily influenced by German Expressionism and Russian Avant-Garde Art that involved print projects, constructivist sculpture,  and some of the earliest “performance art” exhibitions to be held anywhere on earth. The first stirrings began in Europe in the teens, but performance art flourished conceptually much later in the West than it did in Japan, where it was a popular technique among Mavoists and later, the artists of the GUTAI movement after the War.

 

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88774. Hagiwara Kyôjiro 萩原恭次郎. Shikei Senkoku 死刑宣告. Tokyo, 1925. Prelims, 11pp, 6pp., 161pp., 5pp., finals.

Profusely illustrated throughout in linocuts by Okada Tatsuo 岡田龍夫, Toda Tatsuo 戶田達雄 1904-1988, and Yabashi Kimimaro 矢橋公麿. Wrappers designed by Okada. With the Okada-designed slipcase and very scarce as such. Perhaps the most important Mavo-inspired volume. Here in the second issue with the addition of color to the covers and a few of the plates. A cornerstone of any MAVO collection.

The spine is perished but preserved, the covers and slipcase are a bit rubbed and a film of some sort has been laid down on the slipcase spine. But all and all, a good copy of this fragile work. For more on its importance, see Weisenfeld's book, "Mavo: Japanese Artists and the Avant-Garde," pp. 97-101.

$8,500.00

  

 

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88649. Hagiwara Kyôjiro 萩原恭次郎. Shikei Senkoku 死刑宣告. Tokyo, Taishô 14 [1925]. Prelims, 11pp, 6pp., 161pp., 5pp., finals.

Profusely illustrated throughout in linocuts by Okada Tatsuo 岡田龍夫, Toda Tatsuo 戶田達雄 1904-1988, and Yabashi Kimimaro 矢橋公麿. Wrappers designed by Okada. Includes the Okada-designed slipcase.

Perhaps the most important Mavo-inspired volume, and, in its first edition, as here, the rarest. Far more difficult to find than the second edition. The cornerstone of any MAVO collection. I have only seen one other first edition with a slipcase, but it was in horrible condition (though the facsimile produced by the Kindai Bungakkan does have an identical rendering of the black design on white background, so they must have either borrowed or own a copy that they reproduced). Neither the Pompidou show nor the Uruwa Museum catalog illustrate the first edition. They both show the second edition with the red-on-blue background slipcase. In quite good condition overall, unsophisticated with a bit of rubbing and loss to the fragile spine and soiling and starting to the slipcase. To call it simply rare seems inadequate.

$14,000.00

 

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90438. Okada Tatsuo 岡田竜夫(Author and illustrator). Aozameta Dōteikyō 蒼ざめた童貞狂. The title of this important work is usually translated as “The Pale-Faced Virgin’s Mad Thoughts.” Published by Choryusha of Tokyo in 1926, it is illustrated throughout with black and white linocuts executed by Okada Tatsuo (1904-1984). 22.5 x 16cm. 120 pp plus 4 pp. There are 17 full-page prints and many other figures integrated into the text with abstract designs in color by Okada, illustrating the boards front and rear.

No single one of Okada’s illustrated works can be distinguished as being remarkably scarce; all five are almost unattainable. He appeared on the avant-garde scene in Tokyo as suddenly and mysteriously as he left. He is believed to have arrived from Kyushu in the early 1920s and, after a run of considerable authority and influence in Mavo and avant-garde circles, disappeared into Manchuria in the middle 1930s. A very important item for any collection of MAVO-related material, it is Okada’s most prolifically illustrated work. There is a poem, inscribed on the rear free endpaper with unread owner’s (poet’s?) seal.

Near fine. The covers and spine show only the slightest wear. Overall, a remarkably clean copy of this fragile production.

$12,000.00

 

 

 

MURAYAMA'S TRANSLATION COPY

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89492. [MAVO] Toller, Ernst. Tsubame No Sho 燕の書. Tokyo: Chôryûsha Shoten, 1925. Translated by Murayama Tomoyoshi 村山知義, 1901-1977. Illustrated by Okada Tatsuo 岡田龍夫. 8vo., printed decorated wrappers.

Contains 15 full-page original linocuts by Okada, one of a very few works with his MAVO-style original prints. Externally and internally a bit soiled, browned, and foxed. Referenced in virtually every work and bibliography on the subject of Taishôera avant-garde art, this is perhaps THE MOST IMPORTANT COPY OF THIS BOOK IN EXISTENCE. This is the personal copy of the translator, Murayama Tomoyoshi 村山知義 (1901-1977), with his stamp from when he lived in Kashiwagi, Shinjuku in Tôkyô. It has extensive handwritten notes and corrections to the translation interpolated into the text. It would appear that they were done at two different times, perhaps one before and one after the war. Included is a copy of the Murayama and Shimatani Itsuo revised translation, published in 1971. Murayama would die in 1977.

$16,000.00

  

 

 

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87786. Murayama Tomoyoshi 村山知義. Mizue みづゑ, No. 217. Tokyo, Taishô 13 [1924]. Wrappers, 8vo.

This issue of the important art journal Mizue みづゑ is notable for the inclusion of a 5-page article by avant-garde artist and critic, Murayama Tomoyoshi 村山知義, 1901-1977, entitled "KIKAITEKI YÔSO NO GEIJUTSU E NO DÔNYÛ" ["THE PATH TO A CONSTRUCTIVIST ART"]. Murayama was one of the most iconic figures of the avant-garde in the 20s and 30s. This article is interesting for being contemporary to the introduction of Constructivism into Japan. An important bit of art history, from the source. There is also one other short article by Murayama, addressed to Kimura Sôhachi.

$185.00

  

 

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87785. Murayama Tomoyoshi 村山知義. Mizue みづゑ, No. 232. Tokyo, Taishô 13 [1924]. Wrappers, 8vo. This issue of the important art journal Mizue みづゑ is notable for the inclusion of a 2-page address to the Action group by avant-garde artist and critic, Murayama Tomoyoshi  村山知義, 1901-1977, entitled "AKUSHON SHO^KUN NI KUGEN WO TEISURU " ["A WRITTEN EXHORTATION TO MY FRIENDS IN ACTION"]. Murayama was one of the most iconic figures of the avant-garde in the 20s and 30s. This article is interesting for being contemporary to ACTION's founding in Japan. An important bit of art history, from the source.

$165.00


  

 

 

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87784. Murayama Tomoyoshi 村山知義. Mizue みづゑ, No. 235. Tokyo, Taishô 13 [1924]. Wrappers, 8vo. This issue of the important art journal Mizue みづゑ is notable for the inclusion of an article on constructivism by the avant-garde artist and critic, Murayama Tomoyoshi 村山知義, 1901-1977, entitled "KÔSEIHA HIHAN" ["CRITIQUE OF CONSTRUCTIVISM"]. Murayama was one of the most iconic figures of the avant-garde in the 20s and 30s. This article is interesting for being contemporary to constructivism's introduction into Japan. An important bit of art history, from the source.

$185.00

 

 

 

 

 

Onchi Kōshirō 恩地考四郎 (1891–1955) The accomplishments of Onchi Kōshirō 恩地孝四郎 throughout the first half of the 20th century extend far beyond his eminence as a printmaker.  A leader of the Sōsaku Hanga Creative Print movement, he was an innovator who domesticated the ideas and ideals of abstraction and "creative printmaking" in Japan when still in art school.  He was a skilled book designer and also an oil painter, largely in his early years, where he experimented with themes and concepts he would also apply to his prints. Considered one of the most important Japanese printmakers of the 20th Century, in 1915 Onchi became the first printmaker in Japan, and perhaps internationally, to produce a fully abstract print in his incunabular Tsukuhae 月映 #5 journal. 

 

 

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88951. Onchi Kōshirō 恩地考四郎, author & artist. UMI NO HYÔJÔ 海の表情. Tokyo, WKO Hanga Kenkyûsho, 1987. #9 of 20cc,, 42.7 x 37 cm. Portfolio of 17 prints and 20 poems on the topic "EXPRESSIONS OF THE SEA".

Established printmaker and book designer Onchi Kōshirō 恩地考四郎 (1891-1955) had designed this album during the war, but when he attempted to get it published after the war's end and had no luck, he abandoned the project. A few images from the carved blocks were pulled as an experiment and one, “Umi No Mieru Mado” [Window Open to the Sea], appears in the British Museum collection with an interesting explanation. (See link accessed June 2021 https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/A_1988-0315-0-75) In any event, long after his father's death, Onchi Kunio resurrected the project and printed the work in nearly complete form, as only 3 prints had remained unfinished. "Modern" as it is, its tiny limitation guarantees its place as one of the greatest rarities of the Onchi oeuvre.

In fine condition, in a portfolio with a tan cloth-covered clamshell case. In the original publisher's cardboard box.

$6,500.00

 

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90131. ONCHI Koshiro, et al. TSUKUBAE 月映, #5. Tokyo, Rakuyôdô, Taishô 4 [March, 1915]. Reflections of the Moon] or [Moonglow]

It would be hard to overestimate the importance of Tsukuhae 月映, not just to Onchi's career (many judge the production his best "from the cradle") but to the history of Japanese printmaking and book illustration in the 20th Century as a whole. He created it together with two fellow students at the Tokyo School of Art: Fujimori Shizuo 藤森静雄 and Tanaka Kyokichi 田中恭吉. Tanaka died in 1915. It is remarkable how little scholarly work has been done on this magazine in the West. The first issue, published in September 1914, was printed in an edition of 200 copies but sales were so poor that as time went on, subsequent issues were printed in smaller and smaller numbers. According to the scholar Helen Merritt, no more than 11 copies of any issue were ever actually printed and sold. The "public" issues, produced from the original artist-carved blocks, by Rakuyōdō, for whom Onchi had worked as a book designer, ran to issue 7, published in November 1915, and there were a few done privately in editions of 3 or 4, as well. Thus, some say Tsukubae ran to 7 issues, some to 11 issues. The production was so vanishingly small that doubt remains.

This copy is in remarkably good, clean condition. In any condition, it is a true rarity, as a complete copy with all contents, even more so. It is significant that in this year, 1915, Onchi became the first printmaker in Japan to produce a fully abstract print in this very issue of Tsukubae, his "Akarui Toki" [Bright Moment]. Looking at the history of world art, he must be one of the first anywhere.

$24,000.00

 

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87970. ONCHI Koshiro. [A GROVE OF TREES] Oil on canvas, 45 x 33 cm. . From a series of landscapes done in 1921. It is unsigned, but its authenticity is attested to by Onchi's eldest son, Kunio, on a slip affixed on the reverse of the canvas, with his personal seal.

This painting is a loose network of fluid, rhythmic brush strokes in greens and earth tones with blank areas of the canvas and the weave of the cloth still showing. It shows, perhaps, the influence of landscapes by Max Liebermann and Lovis Corinth, or even Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and is a bold and creative work on the brink of abstraction.

Onchi is a renowned artist, primarily remembered as a printmaker, as the most important figure of the "Sosaku Hanga" movement, a poet, and book designer. Yet early in his career he received formal instruction in Western art, beginning in 1909, when he joined the Hakuba-kai (White Horse Society) and the oil painting curriculum at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts a year later. Onchi's knowledge of German, acquired earlier in his education when he attended the Doitsu kyôkai chûgakkô (German Cooperative Middle School), may have given him access to early twentieth-century German art. He acknowledged a special sympathy with contemporary German art and specifically cited the influence on his work of Edvard Munch and Wassily Kandinsky, artists in the German milieu who gave color and form emotional and evocative values. Despite his interest in Western art, Onchi never traveled to Europe or the United States, content to acquaint himself with contemporary developments through illustrations in books and magazines and Tokyo exhibitions of European art. Reference: The Graphic Art of Onchi Koshiro, by E. Swinton.

$6,500.00

 

 

 

 

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90566. ONCHI Koshiro. [Abstract Oil Painting]. Oil painting approx 41 x 32 cm in image size, an abstract(ish) still life with an apple, done while Onchi was quite young in about 1919. It is signed by him and is quite unusual in its embrace of abstraction (with a hint of the very influential Mr. Cezanne). Not for the fact of the abstract image itself, but rather for the medium. Oil paintings by Onchi are by no means common as he largely abandoned the medium by the 20s. Nor are his abstractions unknown, as he frequently created woodblock prints in an abstract mode and is, indeed, credited with the first fully abstract print in Japan [AKARUI TOKI] which appeared in his TSUKUHAE magazine number V in 1915. Nor is Cezanne's influence on the Japanese art world through his still lifes unknown, either. But this painting, combining oil and abstraction and a bit of Cezanne, makes for a remarkable piece, both historically and aesthetically.

 $25,000.00

 

 

 

 
 
 

88726. ONCHI, Kôshirô & TANAKA Kyôkichi, artists and designers; HAGIWARA Sakutarô, poet. TSUKI NI HOERU 月に吠える. [HOWLING AT THE MOON]. Tôkyô, Kanjôshisha. Taishô 6 [1917]. Bound in paper-covered boards with a thick paper printed dustwrapper, 20.0 x 14.0 mm. The dustwrapper has a design by Tanaka and there are 11 internal plates, as well as three woodblock prints by Onchi. This poetry collection, self-published by Hagiwara (1886-1942) in 500 copies, is regarded as creating a revolution in Japanese poetry. The spirit inspiring the work, according to Hagiwara, was "psychic terror"and, as such, broke all the traditional bonds with traditional poetics. Nothing can be said that would over-emphasize the importance of Onchi and Tanaka to the development of printmaking and book design in an abstract and avant garde idiom in early 20th Century Japan. With their fellow student Fujimori Shizuo at the Tôkyô School of Fine Arts, they created the wonderful art magazine TSUKUHAE in 1914. It ceased production in 1915 when Tanaka died of tuberculosis. His work, along with that of Onchi were combined in this volume. Thus the combination of the two, along with the work of Hagiwara make the first edition of HOWLING AT THE MOON one of the most important treasures of the early avant garde in Japan. The copy in hand suffers from some cracking along the hinges, edgewear and a few nicks. The dustwrapper is fragile and split along the edges and internally strengthened with tape. There are both censored and uncensored copies in existence. Ours has pages 103-108 excised for an offending erotic poem. I have examined images from three copies in collections besides this one and they all seem to suffer from the same weaknesses. Simply a very fragile book, printed in small numbers and very difficult to find.

$15,000.00

  $6,500.00

 

 

 

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90571.Onchi Kōshirō 恩地孝四郎. [Chūgoku Fūkei Chinese Landscape #6] [中国風景 6号]. [Oil Painting]. [1939]. Image size approx 41 x 32cm and frame size approx 54.5 x 45.5cm. Oil on canvas, 45 x 33 cm. . From a series of landscapes done in 1921. It is unsigned, but its authenticity is attested to by Onchi's eldest son, Kunio, on a slip affixed on the reverse of the canvas, with his personal seal.

This painting is a loose network of fluid, rhythmic brush strokes in greens and earth tones with blank areas of the canvas and the weave of the cloth still showing. It shows, perhaps, the influence of landscapes by Max Liebermann and Lovis Corinth, or even Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and is a bold and creative work on the brink of abstraction.

Onchi is a renowned artist, primarily remembered as a printmaker, as the most important figure of the "Sosaku Hanga" movement, a poet, and a book designer. Yet early in his career he received formal instruction in Western art, beginning in 1909, when he joined the Hakuba-kai (White Horse Society) and the oil painting curriculum at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts a year later. Onchi's knowledge of German, acquired earlier in his education when he attended the Doitsu kyôkai chûgakkô (German Cooperative Middle School), may have given him access to early twentieth-century German art. He acknowledged a special sympathy with contemporary German art and specifically cited the influence on his work of Edvard Munch and Wassily Kandinsky, artists in the German milieu who gave color and form emotional and evocative values. Despite his interest in Western art, Onchi never traveled to Europe or the United States, content to acquaint himself with contemporary developments through illustrations in books and magazines and Tokyo exhibitions of European art. Reference: The Graphic Art of Onchi Koshiro, by E. Swinton.

                            $12,000.00

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4.88936. ONCHI KOSHIRO, artist. CHU.GYO.KAI. 26.6 X 20.8 cm. #158 of 250cc. Aoi Shobô. A wonderful Onchi cover and 10 prints inside, illustrating his poem fragments. The combination of the abstract and the figurative is lovely and moving. Published during the war Showa 18 - 1943) in Tokyo, as part of the series SHOSO HANGACHO JURENSHU, it is very hard to find. This is a a clean, very good copy. Includes the original announcement for the JURENSHU series as published in one of the SHOSÔmagazine pamphlets. In a custom clasped chitsu case.

$3,850.00

 

 

 

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6. 81074. ONCHI Kôshiro, artist. A Framed Collection of Woodcut Illustrations. After the war, Onchi Kôshiro created a series of woodcut illustrations for a project involving the publication of a revamped classroom curriculum for Japanese students in the post-war era. For whatever reason, those designs do not appear to have been used - they do not appear in his catalog raisonné of prints and book illustrations. Though a series of edited and expurgated pre-war textbooks were employed immediately after the war, more permanent changes in the curriculum were not effected for several years. As this set of Onchi illustrations were designed to be used in a basic Japanese language book, it is possible that the extensive language reform after the war stopped the finalization and publication of the textbook at all. 

In any event, the set has a few marginal notations which indicate page placement, etc., so the project must have proceeded to the mock-up level before being abandoned. There are 11 cuts in b+w with two having light coloration. Portraits of Tolstoy, Einstein, Lincoln and Franklin combine with landscapes, insects, children at play, etc. The images seem to be suffused with a gentle sadness - they certainly seem to capture the spirit of the times. Truly a lovely and important group. There is no way to overestimate Onchi's importance to 20th century Japanese print making. This experimental group of cuts is a tribute to his art and an accurate evocation of an age. Framed in a custom mat. 

 

$1,850.00