Japanese Illustrated Books from the Edo and Meiji Periods

detail of a Japanese color print showing a small frog leaping into the water, with lilies and reeds

The Freer|Sackler Library's collection of illustrated Japanese rare books includes over 1,000 volumes previously owned by Charles Lang Freer. Often filled with color illustrations, many are by famous artists such as Andō Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai.  These beautiful woodblock printed works of art were published during the Edo and Meiji periods (1600-1912).  Another group of Japanese rare books more recently added to the Library's collections consists of 67 volumes of illustrated Meiji-period books collected by Robert O. Muller who also formed a superb collection of Japanese prints from the same period which he bequeathed to the Arthur M.Sackler Gallery. Both library book collections are ideal complements to the world renowned Gerhard Pulverer Collection of Illustrated Japanese Books which was acquired by the Freer Gallery of Art in 2007. The Pulverer Collection has been completely digitized and is available online. Unlike the European and American books on our website, Japanese rare books are scanned as two-page spreads to more clearly show the construction of the book and seamlessly display images which span two pages.

You may notice some pages and covers which seem to have white or light-colored decorative patterns behind the text. This is mica that has been applied to the paper. When holding the book, the mica will sparkle and be less and more noticeable depending on how the book is positioned relative to a light source. In person it would not appear to be uniformly light as shown in the digital images.

The Library’s digitization project was generously funded by the Anne van Biema Endowment Fund.

Pages

Cover of Bairei gafu

Bairei gafu

楳嶺畫譜
Yamada Unsōdō
Meiji 38 [1905]
Cover of Bairei hyakuchol, gafu

Bairei hyakuchō gafu

楳嶺百鳥畫譜
Ōkura Magobē
Meiji 14 [1881]
Cover of Bairei hyakuchol, gafu

Bairei hyakuchō gafu

楳嶺百鳥畫譜
Ōkura Magobē
Meiji 14 [1881]
Cover of Banshoku zukol,

Banshoku zukō

萬職圖考
Katsushika, Taito
Kawachiya Mohē
[Kaei 3 [1850]]
Cover of Banshol, shashin zufu

Banshō shashin zufu

萬象寫眞圖譜
Utagawa, Sadahide
Sonoharaya Shōsuke
Bunkyū 4 [1864]
Cover of Banshol, zukan

Banshō zukan

萬象圖鑑
Kobayashi Bunshichi
Meiji 34 [1901]
Cover of Bijutsukai

Bijutsukai

美術海
Tokuyaku urisabakijo Tanaka Bunkyūdō ... [and 9 others]
Cover of Bonsai kabenzu

Bonsai kabenzu

盆栽花弁圖
[Meiji period, 1868-1912?]
Cover of Bundai gachol,

Bundai gachō

文臺雅調
Andō, Hiroshige
s.n
1844]
Cover of Bungei gairyaku

Bungei gairyaku

文藝概畧 : 紀元二千五百三十六年著
Sakakibara, Yoshino
Cover of Bunpol, gafu

Bunpō gafu

文鳳畵譜
Yoshidaya Shinbē
Bunka 10 [1813]
Cover of Bunpol, gafu

Bunpō gafu

文鳳畵譜 : 全
Kawamura, Bunpō
Yoshidaya Shinbē
Bunka 4 [1807]
Cover of Bunpol, sansui ikol,

Bunpō sansui ikō

文鳳山水遺稿
Kawamura, Bunpō; Rai, San'yō; Kawamura, Kihō
Bunchōdō Yoshida Shinbē zōhan
Bunsei 7 [1824]
Cover of Cha kafuki no shiki , Kuchikiri no shiki , Rikyu Koji himei

Cha kafuki no shiki ; Kuchikiri no shiki ; Rikyu Koji himei

茶カフキ之式 ; 口切之式 ; 利休居士碑銘
Cover of Cha kafuki no shiki , Kuchikiri no shiki , Rikyu Koji himei v. 4

Cha kafuki no shiki ; Kuchikiri no shiki ; Rikyu Koji himei v. 4

茶カフキ之式 ; 口切之式 ; 利休居士碑銘
Cover of Chadol, keizu

Chadō keizu

茶道系圖 : 完
Cover of Chadol, sentei

Chadō sentei

茶道筌蹄
Suharaya Ihachi
Kōka [1847]
Cover of Chakata meikiruishul,

Chakata meikiruishū

茶方銘器類聚
Cover of Chake suikozatsu

Chake suikozatsu

茶家醉古襍
Ōmiya Satarō
Tenpō 14 [1843]-Kaei 1 [1848]
Cover of Chaki bengyokushul,

Chaki bengyokushū

茶器辨玉集
Cover of Chaki meibutsuroku

Chaki meibutsuroku

茶器名物録
Cover of Chaki meibutsushul,

Chaki meibutsushū

茶器名物集
Cover of Chaki meikeihen

Chaki meikeihen

茶器名形編
Cover of Chaki meikeihen

Chaki meikeihen

茶器名形編
Cover of Chaki meikeihen

Chaki meikeihen

茶器名形編
Cover of Chanoyu hitorikogi

Chanoyu hitorikogi

茶湯獨漕
Izumiya Jirōemon
Hōei 1 [1704]
Cover of Chanoyu hyol,rin

Chanoyu hyōrin

茶湯評林
Izumiya Yamaguchi Mohē
Genroku 10 [1697]
Cover of Chanoyu kokon wakumon

Chanoyu kokon wakumon

茶之湯古今或問
Izumiya Mohē
Genroku 5 [1692]
Cover of Chanoyu kol,moku

Chanoyu kōmoku

茶之湯綱目
Kikuya Shichirōbē
[after Hōei 6 [1709]]
Cover of Chanoyu sandenshul,

Chanoyu sandenshū

茶之湯三傳集
Cover of Chanoyu shin no daisu

Chanoyu shin no daisu

茶之湯真壹子
Ogawa Genbē
Enkyō 1 [1744]
Cover of Chaseki bokuhol, soden kol, tsuketari bokuseki kantei

Chaseki bokuhō soden kō tsuketari bokuseki kantei

茶席祖傳考附墨蹟鍳定
Tōgai; Fujii, Mochimasa
Cover of Chashul,

Chashū

茶集
Fujiya Sōsuke
[after Bunka 4 [1804]]
Cover of Chikufu shol,roku

Chikufu shōroku

竹譜詳錄
Hayashi Ihē
Hōreki 6 [1756]
Cover of Chol,jul, ryakugashiki

Chōjū ryakugashiki

鳥獸略画式
Kitao, Masayoshi
Yoshikawa Kōbunkan
[between 1868-1912]
Cover of Chul,ka senzen

Chūka senzen

肘下選蠕
Mori, Shunkei
Unsōdō
[not before 1889]
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga

伝神開手北斎漫画
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga

伝神開手北斎漫画
Cover of Edo daisetsuyol, kaidaigura

Edo daisetsuyō kaidaigura

江戶大節用海内蔵
Yamashiroya Sahē
Bunkyū 3 [1863]
Cover of Edo meisho Sumida ichiran

Edo meisho Sumida ichiran

江戶名所隅田一覧
[publisher not identified]
[Tenmei 1, 1781]
Cover of Edo meisho zue

Edo meisho zue

江戶名所図會
Cover of Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards]

Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards]

絵はかき= [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards]
[Meiji period, 1868-1912]
Cover of Ehon bumeikun

Ehon bumeikun

繪本武名薰
Ōwada Yasubē
Kansei 2 [1790]
Cover of Ehon Edo miyage

Ehon Edo miyage

畫本江戶土産
Kikuya Kōzaburō han
[1850 or after and before 1868]
Cover of Ehon Edo suzume

Ehon Edo suzume

繪本江戶爵
[publisher not indicated]
[after Tenmei 6 [1786]]
Cover of Ehon haru no nishiki

Ehon haru no nishiki

繪本春の錦
Suzuki, Harunobu
Yamazaki Kinbe
[1771]
Cover of Ehon Kinryul,zan Sensol, senbon-zakura

Ehon Kinryūzan Sensō senbon-zakura

繪本金龍山浅草千本桜
Yamazaki Kinbē
Kyōhō 19 [1734]]
Cover of Ehon Komagatake

Ehon Komagatake

繪本高麓嶽
Sōzandō Nishimura Sōshichi
Kyōwa 2 [1802]
Cover of Ehon Kol,rin

Ehon Kōrin

繪本光琳 : 全
Ogata, Kōrin; Aikawa, Minwa
Kikuya Kihē
[1818?]
Cover of Ehon kyol,ka yama mata yama

Ehon kyōka yama mata yama

繪本狂歌山満多山
Tsutaya Jūzaburō
Kyōwa 4 [1804]
Cover of Ehon musashi abumi

Ehon musashi abumi

画本武蔵鐙
Katsushika, Hokusai
Nishimiya Yahē
[after Tenpō 7 [1836]]
Cover of Ehon nishiki no fukuro

Ehon nishiki no fukuro

畫本錦乃囊 : 職巧雛形錦帒画叢
Ikeda, Eisen
Kawachiya Mohē
[1828]
Cover of Ehon noyamagusa

Ehon noyamagusa

繪本野山草
Cover of Ehon Nozue no taka

Ehon Nozue no taka

繪本埜居鷹
Mantei Sōba; Katsushika, Hokusai
[publisher not indicated]
[after Bunka 5, 1808]
Cover of Ehon onna Imagawa

Ehon onna Imagawa

繪夲女今川
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Ehon Shin Yoshiwara senbon-zakura c. 3

Ehon Shin Yoshiwara senbon-zakura c. 3

繪本新吉原千本桜
Okumura, Masanobu
Cover of Ehon surugamai

Ehon surugamai

繪本駿河舞
[publisher not identified]
[after Kansei 2 [1790]]
Cover of Ehon tekagami

Ehon tekagami

絵本手鑑
Ōoka, Shunboku
Bunkidō
[Kyōho 5 [1720]]
Cover of Ehon tokiwagusa

Ehon tokiwagusa

繪本常盤草
Nishikawa, Sukenobu
Unsōdō
[Meiji period, 1600-1868]
Cover of Ehon Wa-Kan no homare

Ehon Wa-Kan no homare

画本和漢譽 : 全壹巻
Katsushika, Hokusai
Kamiya Tokuhachi
[after Kaei 3, 1850 before 1868]
Cover of Ehon yakusha natsu no fuji

Ehon yakusha natsu no fuji

繪本役者夏富士
Ichiba, Tsūshō; Katsukawa, Shunshō
Matsumura Yahē
[1780]
Cover of Eishol, hyakuchol, gafu v. 2

Eishō hyakuchō gafu v. 2

英章百鳥畫譜
Tsuchida, Eishō; Takeuchi, Seihō
Unsōdō
Taishō 2 [1913]-
Cover of Ejima no kasumi

Ejima no kasumi

繪嶋之霞 : 青
Kubota, Beisen; Tomioka, Tessai
Tanaka Jihē
Meiji 20 [1887]
Cover of Ekiro no suzu

Ekiro no suzu

驛路鈴
Totoya, Hokkei; Seiyōkan.
[publisher not identified]
[after 1830 and before 1868]
Cover of En'ol, gafu

En'ō gafu

圓翁画譜. 乾
Maruyama, Ōkyo; Yamaguchi, Soken
[publisher not identified]
[Tenpō 8 [1837]]
Cover of Enshul, goryul, sol,ka ishol,l

Enshū goryū sōka ishō

遠州御流挿花意匠
Rishōan Ichiju; Ryōtan
Yoshinoya Ōtani Jinbē
[Meiji period (1868-1912)]
Cover of Enshul,-ryul, kaku

Enshū-ryū kaku

遠州流花矩
[publisher not identified]
[Meiji period, 1868-1912]
Cover of Enshul,-ryul, sol,ka chitose no matsu

Enshū-ryū sōka chitose no matsu

遠州流插花千歲松
Cover of Enshul,-ryul, sol,ka gokuishul,

Enshū-ryū sōka gokuishū

遠州流挿花極意集
publisher not identified
18--]
Cover of Enshul,-ryul, sol,ka hyakuhei zushiki

Enshū-ryū sōka hyakuhei zushiki

遠州流挿花百瓶圖式 : 四季混雜
Kobayashi Shinbē
Bunka 3 [1806]
Cover of Fugaku hyakkei

Fugaku hyakkei

富嶽百景
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Fugaku hyakkei

Fugaku hyakkei

富嶽百景
Cover of Fugaku hyakkei

Fugaku hyakkei

富嶽百景. 二編
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Fugaku hyakkei

Fugaku hyakkei

富嶽百景
Cover of Fujimi hyakuzu

Fujimi hyakuzu

冨士見百圖 : 初編
[publisher not identified]
[Ansei 6, 1859]
Cover of Fukei gasol,

Fukei gasō

不形畫藪
Chō, Gesshō
Keiundō Tōhei
Bunka 14 [1817]
Cover of Fusol, gajinden

Fusō gajinden

扶桑畫人傳
Cover of Fusol, meisho zue

Fusō meisho zue

狂歌扶桑名所圖會 : 五篇
Kaien Umeaki; Andō, Hiroshige
[publisher not identified]
[Tenpō 13, 1842]
Cover of Gakol, senran

Gakō senran

畵巧潜覧
Kanō, Tan'yū; Ōoka, Shunboku
Tsurugaya Kyūbē
Genbun 5 [1740]
Cover of Gakol, senran

Gakō senran

畵巧潜覧
Kanō, Tan'yū; Ōoka, Shunboku
Tsurugaya Kyūbē
Genbun 5 [1740]
Cover of Gasen

Gasen

畵筌
Hayashi, Moriatsu
Cover of Gasoku

Gasoku

畵則
Suharaya Ihachi
Anʼei 5 [1776]
Cover of Genji monogatari

Genji monogatari

源氏物語

Please note, the final chapter (volume 54) is missing and could not be digitized.

Cover of Genji nannyo shol,zoku shol,

Genji nannyo shōzoku shō

源氏男女裝束抄
Cover of Gogyol, kyol,kashul,

Gogyō kyōkashū

五行狂歌集
Yajima, Gogaku; Kiri, Masao
[publisher not identified]
[1822]
Cover of Gokusaishiki nihyakushu

Gokusaishiki nihyakushu

極彩色弐百種
Cover of Gunchol, gaei

Gunchō gaei

群蝶画英
Hanabusa, Itchō
Cover of Gyokusen shul,gajol,

Gyokusen shūgajō

玉泉習畫帖
Mochizuki, Gyokusen
Tanaka Jihē
Meiji 24 [1891]
Cover of Hamonshul,

Hamonshū

波紋集
Yamada Geisōdō
Meiji 36 [1903]
Cover of Haran tebikigusa

Haran tebikigusa

葉らん手引種
Tenshōsai, Ippa
Cover of Haru no Fuji

Haru no Fuji

はるの不盡
Katsushika, Hokusai; Suehiroan
Suehiroan
Kyōwa 3 [1803]
Cover of Heian meishol,

Heian meishō

平安名勝
Cover of Hokkei manga

Hokkei manga

北溪漫画 : 初編
Totoya, Hokkei
[Eirakuya Tōshirō]
[between 1800 and 1850]
Cover of Hokumei gafu

Hokumei gafu

北明画譜
Katsushika, Hokumei
San'yūdō
[Meiji period, 1600-1868]
Cover of Hokusai ekagami

Hokusai ekagami

北齋畵鑑
Katsushika, Hokusai
Eirakuya Tōshirō
[1858]
Cover of Hokusai gafu

Hokusai gafu

北齋画譜
Katsushika, Hokusai; Eirakuya, Tōshirō
Eirakuya Tōshirō
18--]
Cover of Hokusai gafu

Hokusai gafu

北齋画譜
Katsushika, Hokusai; Eirakuya, Tōshirō
Eirakuya Tōshirō
18--]
Cover of Hokusai gafu

Hokusai gafu

北齋画譜
Katsushika, Hokusai; Eirakuya, Tōshirō
Eirakuya Tōshirō
18--]
Cover of Hokusai gafu

Hokusai gafu

北齋画譜
Eirakuya Tōshirō
[1849]
Cover of Hokusai imayol, hinagata

Hokusai imayō hinagata

北齋今檨雛形
Katsushika, Hokusai
Ōkura Shoten
Meiji 22 [1889]

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