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 hyakuchō gafu"

Bairei hyakuchō gafu

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

Bairei hyakuchō gafu

楳嶺百鳥畫譜
Ōkura Magobē
Meiji 14 [1881]
Cover of "Banshō shashin zufu"

Banshō shashin zufu

萬象寫眞圖譜
Utagawa, Sadahide
Sonoharaya Shōsuke
Bunkyū 4 [1864]
Cover of "Banshō 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 gachō"

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 "Bunpō gafu"

Bunpō gafu

文鳳畵譜 : 全
Kawamura, Bunpō
Yoshidaya Shinbē
Bunka 4 [1807]
Cover of "Bunpō gafu"

Bunpō gafu

文鳳畵譜
Yoshidaya Shinbē
Bunka 10 [1813]
Cover of "Bunpō sansui ikō"

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"

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 "Chadō keizu"

Chadō keizu

茶道系圖 : 完
Cover of "Chadō sentei"

Chadō sentei

茶道筌蹄
Suharaya Ihachi
Kōka [1847]
Cover of "Chakata meikiruishū"

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 bengyokushū"

Chaki bengyokushū

茶器辨玉集
Cover of "Chaki meibutsuroku"

Chaki meibutsuroku

茶器名物録
Cover of "Chaki meibutsushū"

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 hyōrin"

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 kōmoku"

Chanoyu kōmoku

茶之湯綱目
Kikuya Shichirōbē
[after Hōei 6 [1709]]
Cover of "Chanoyu sandenshū"

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 bokuhō soden kō 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 "Chashū"

Chashū

茶集
Fujiya Sōsuke
[after Bunka 4 [1804]]
Cover of "Chikufu shōroku"

Chikufu shōroku

竹譜詳錄
Hayashi Ihē
Hōreki 6 [1756]
Cover of "Chōjū ryakugashiki"

Chōjū ryakugashiki

鳥獸略画式
Kitao, Masayoshi
Yoshikawa Kōbunkan
[between 1868-1912]
Cover of "Chūka 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 daisetsuyō 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 "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 Kinryūzan Sensō 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 Kōrin"

Ehon Kōrin

繪本光琳 : 全
Ogata, Kōrin; Aikawa, Minwa
Kikuya Kihē
[1818?]
Cover of "Ehon kyōka 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"

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 "Eishō hyakuchō gafu"

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'ō gafu"

En'ō gafu

圓翁画譜. 乾
Maruyama, Ōkyo; Yamaguchi, Soken
[publisher not identified]
[Tenpō 8 [1837]]
Cover of "Enshū goryū sōka ishō̈"

Enshū goryū sōka ishō̈

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

Enshū-ryū kaku

遠州流花矩
[publisher not identified]
[Meiji period, 1868-1912]
Cover of "Enshū-ryū sōka chitose no matsu"

Enshū-ryū sōka chitose no matsu

遠州流插花千歲松
Cover of "Enshū-ryū sōka gokuishū"

Enshū-ryū sōka gokuishū

遠州流挿花極意集
publisher not identified
18--]
Cover of "Enshū-ryū sōka 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. 二編
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of "Fugaku hyakkei"

Fugaku hyakkei

富嶽百景
Cover of "Fugaku hyakkei"

Fugaku hyakkei

富嶽百景
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 gasō"

Fukei gasō

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

Fusō gajinden

扶桑畫人傳
Cover of "Fusō 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 "Gakō senran"

Gakō senran

畵巧潜覧
Kanō, Tan'yū; Ōoka, Shunboku
Tsurugaya Kyūbē
Genbun 5 [1740]
Cover of "Gakō 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
Cover of "Genji nannyo shōzoku shō"

Genji nannyo shōzoku shō

源氏男女裝束抄
Cover of "Gogyō kyōkashū"

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 "Gunchō gaei"

Gunchō gaei

群蝶画英
Hanabusa, Itchō
Cover of "Gyokusen shūgajō"

Gyokusen shūgajō

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

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 meishō"

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
Eirakuya Tōshirō
[1849]
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 imayō hinagata"

Hokusai imayō hinagata

北齋今檨雛形
Katsushika, Hokusai
Ōkura Shoten
Meiji 22 [1889]
Cover of "Hokusai shasin gafu"

Hokusai shasin gafu

北齋冩真画譜
Katsushika, Hokusai
[publisher not identified]
[Bunka 11, 1814]
Cover of "Hokusai soga"

Hokusai soga

北齋麁画

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