(Japan: Sûzan Shobô, 1816). Small quarto. (19)ff. A Japanese book of color woodblock prints by Kameda Bôsai (1754-1826), one of the leading painters of the Nanga or Bunjinga (literati) schools of painting. The seventeen full-page illustrations, five of which extend across the page spread, are landscapes depicting mountainous terrain, comprised of strong, black calligraphic lines with soft colors. Each includes descriptive text printed along the margins and the artist’s stamp in red. The images are simple but poetic, expressing the artist’s love of the natural world, with descriptions that translate as: “The refreshing sound of a mountain waterfall,” “The intoxicating effect of river and mountains,” “Solitary fisher on a wintry river,” and “Jeweled mountains like sapphires and water like emerald,” among others. With a preface and two closing notes. Working during the Edo period, Bôsai was recognized for his paintings, calligraphy, and book illustrations. In her book Block Printing and Book Illustration in Japan, Louise Norton Brown describes Kyôchûzan as “The most charming book produced by the Japanese Impressionistic School.” The colophon, which is adhered to the inside of the back cover, has different lettering and paper than the rest of the book. It is dated 1809, in contradiction to the dates stated in the preface and postscripts; according to scholars of Bôsai, this was most likely the result of careless pasting by the bookbinder. Stab-bound in gray-green wrappers with a printed yellow label to the front cover. Covers and one spot on the spine show some light rubbing and wear, else a fine copy. Protected in a blue cloth chemise that closes with bone clasps. Item #24908
(Brown, p. 121; Keyes, #47, p. 283, similar to edition 5; Mitchell, The Illustrated Books of the Nanga, Maruyama, Shijo and Other Related Schools of Japan, pp. 383-4).