[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]
YOSHIDA Hiroshi / 吉田 博 (1876–1950)
“Himeji Castle” from the Enthronement Edition of the Commercial Advertiser
color woodcut / 14.5 inches by 9.5 inches / unnumbered edition
Yoshida was a member of a multi-generational family renowned for their woodcut prints, many of them in the shin-hanga style. For the “Enthronement Edition” celebrating coronation of Emperor Hirohito, Yoshida produced a subtly-shaded woodcut view of Himeji Castle, one of Japan’s best preserved castles from the time of the shoguns. The print is tipped into the volume, published in English with detailed description of the elaborate ceremony itself, but also a vast amount of information on court life. The festivities lasted sixteen days in both Tokyo and Kyoto. Our copy of the entire volume comes courtesy of the Tabor family.
By a happy coincidence, Methodist missionary William Malcolm (“Uncle Malcolm”) was passing through Tokyo on the way to his mission at Chefoo, China. He delayed departure in order to observe a rare cultural event, unlikely to occur more than once or twice in a century.