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.
View plain title list.

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

Pages

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 Chashul,

Chashū

茶集
Fujiya Sōsuke
[after Bunka 4 [1804]]
Cover of Chashū v. 1

Chashū v. 1

茶集
Yü, Cheng
Fujiya Sōsuke
[after Bunka 4 [1804]]
Cover of Chashū v. 2

Chashū v. 2

茶集
Yü, Cheng
Fujiya Sōsuke
[after Bunka 4 [1804]]
Cover of Chashū v. 3

Chashū v. 3

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

Chikufu shōroku

竹譜詳錄
Hayashi Ihē
Hōreki 6 [1756]
Cover of Chikufu shōroku v. 1

Chikufu shōroku v. 1

竹譜詳錄
Li, Kan
Hayashi Ihē
Hōreki 6 [1756]
Cover of Chikufu shōroku v. 2

Chikufu shōroku v. 2

竹譜詳錄
Li, Kan
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 Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 1

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 1

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 1

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 1

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 10

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 10

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 10

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 10

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 11

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 11

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 11

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 11

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 12

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 12

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 12

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 12

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 13

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 13

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 13

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 13

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 14

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 14

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 14

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 14

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 2

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 2

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 2

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 2

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 3

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 3

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 3

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 3

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 4

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 4

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 4

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 4

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 5

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 5

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 5

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 5

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 6

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 6

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 6

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 6

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 7

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 7

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 7

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 7

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 8

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 8

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 8

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 8

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 9

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 9

伝神開手北斎漫画
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 9

Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga v. 9

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

Edo daisetsuyō kaidaigura

江戶大節用海内蔵
Yamashiroya Sahē
Bunkyū 3 [1863]
Cover of Edo daisetsuyō kaidaigura v. 1

Edo daisetsuyō kaidaigura v. 1

江戶大節用海内蔵
Takai, Ranzan; Shōtei, Kinsui; Kikukawa, Eizan; Mori, Fūsai
Yamashiroya Sahē
Bunkyū 3 [1863]
Cover of Edo daisetsuyō kaidaigura v. 2

Edo daisetsuyō kaidaigura v. 2

江戶大節用海内蔵
Takai, Ranzan; Shōtei, Kinsui; Kikukawa, Eizan; Mori, Fūsai
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 Sumida ichiran v. 1

Edo meisho Sumida ichiran v. 1

江戶名所隅田一覧
Tsuruoka, Rosui
[publisher not identified]
[Tenmei 1, 1781]
Cover of Edo meisho Sumida ichiran v. 2

Edo meisho Sumida ichiran v. 2

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

Edo meisho zue

江戶名所図會
Cover of Edo meisho zue v. 1

Edo meisho zue v. 1

江戶名所図會
Saitō, Chōshū; Hasegawa, Settan
Cover of Edo meisho zue v. 10

Edo meisho zue v. 10

江戶名所図會
Saitō, Chōshū; Hasegawa, Settan
Cover of Edo meisho zue v. 2

Edo meisho zue v. 2

江戶名所図會
Saitō, Chōshū; Hasegawa, Settan
Cover of Edo meisho zue v. 3

Edo meisho zue v. 3

江戶名所図會
Saitō, Chōshū; Hasegawa, Settan
Cover of Edo meisho zue v. 4

Edo meisho zue v. 4

江戶名所図會
Saitō, Chōshū; Hasegawa, Settan
Cover of Edo meisho zue v. 5

Edo meisho zue v. 5

江戶名所図會
Saitō, Chōshū; Hasegawa, Settan
Cover of Edo meisho zue v. 6

Edo meisho zue v. 6

江戶名所図會
Saitō, Chōshū; Hasegawa, Settan
Cover of Edo meisho zue v. 7

Edo meisho zue v. 7

江戶名所図會
Saitō, Chōshū; Hasegawa, Settan
Cover of Edo meisho zue v. 8

Edo meisho zue v. 8

江戶名所図會
Saitō, Chōshū; Hasegawa, Settan
Cover of Edo meisho zue v. 9

Edo meisho zue v. 9

江戶名所図會
Saitō, Chōshū; Hasegawa, Settan
Cover of Edo meisho zue v. 9, c. 2

Edo meisho zue v. 9, c. 2

江戶名所図會
Saitō, Chōshū; Hasegawa, Settan
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 Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards] v. 1

Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards] v. 1

絵はかき= [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards]
[Meiji period, 1868-1912]
Cover of Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards] v. 2

Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards] v. 2

絵はかき= [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards]
[Meiji period, 1868-1912]
Cover of Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards] v. 3

Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards] v. 3

絵はかき= [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards]
[Meiji period, 1868-1912]
Cover of Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards] v. 4

Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards] v. 4

絵はかき= [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards]
[Meiji period, 1868-1912]
Cover of Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards] v. 5

Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards] v. 5

絵はかき= [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards]
[Meiji period, 1868-1912]
Cover of Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards] v. 6

Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards] v. 6

絵はかき= [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards]
[Meiji period, 1868-1912]
Cover of Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards] v. 7

Ehagaki = [A collection of Japanese pictorial postcards] v. 7

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 bumeikun v. 1

Ehon bumeikun v. 1

繪本武名薰
Okumura, Masanobu
Ōwada Yasubē
Kansei 2 [1790]
Cover of Ehon bumeikun v. 2

Ehon bumeikun v. 2

繪本武名薰
Okumura, Masanobu
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 miyage v. 1

Ehon Edo miyage v. 1

畫本江戶土産
Andō, Hiroshige
Kikuya Kōzaburō han
[1850 or after and before 1868]
Cover of Ehon Edo miyage v. 2

Ehon Edo miyage v. 2

畫本江戶土産
Andō, Hiroshige
Kikuya Kōzaburō han
[1850 or after and before 1868]
Cover of Ehon Edo miyage v. 3

Ehon Edo miyage v. 3

畫本江戶土産
Andō, Hiroshige
Kikuya Kōzaburō han
[1850 or after and before 1868]
Cover of Ehon Edo miyage v. 4

Ehon Edo miyage v. 4

畫本江戶土産
Andō, Hiroshige
Kikuya Kōzaburō han
[1850 or after and before 1868]
Cover of Ehon Edo miyage v. 5

Ehon Edo miyage v. 5

畫本江戶土産
Andō, Hiroshige
Kikuya Kōzaburō han
[1850 or after and before 1868]
Cover of Ehon Edo miyage v. 6

Ehon Edo miyage v. 6

畫本江戶土産
Andō, Hiroshige
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 Edo suzume v. 1

Ehon Edo suzume v. 1

繪本江戶爵
Kitagawa, Utamaro; Akera, Kankō; Tsutaya, Jūzaburō
[publisher not indicated]
[after Tenmei 6 [1786]]
Cover of Ehon Edo suzume v. 2

Ehon Edo suzume v. 2

繪本江戶爵
Kitagawa, Utamaro; Akera, Kankō; Tsutaya, Jūzaburō
[publisher not indicated]
[after Tenmei 6 [1786]]
Cover of Ehon Edo suzume v. 3

Ehon Edo suzume v. 3

繪本江戶爵
Kitagawa, Utamaro; Akera, Kankō; Tsutaya, Jūzaburō
[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 Kinryūzan Sensō senbon-zakura

Ehon Kinryūzan Sensō senbon-zakura

繪本金龍山浅草千本桜
Okumura, Masanobu
Yamazaki Kinbē
Kyōhō 19 [1734]]
Cover of Ehon Kinryūzan Sensō senbon-zakura c. 2

Ehon Kinryūzan Sensō senbon-zakura c. 2

繪本金龍山浅草千本桜
Okumura, Masanobu
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 Komagatake v. 1

Ehon Komagatake v. 1

繪本高麓嶽
Kitao, Shigemasa; Nansenshō Somahito
Sōzandō Nishimura Sōshichi
Kyōwa 2 [1802]
Cover of Ehon Komagatake v. 2

Ehon Komagatake v. 2

繪本高麓嶽
Kitao, Shigemasa; Nansenshō Somahito
Sōzandō Nishimura Sōshichi
Kyōwa 2 [1802]
Cover of Ehon Komagatake v. 3

Ehon Komagatake v. 3

繪本高麓嶽
Kitao, Shigemasa; Nansenshō Somahito
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 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 kyōka yama mata yama v. 1

Ehon kyōka yama mata yama v. 1

繪本狂歌山満多山
Katsushika, Hokusai; Benbenkan Koryū; Ōharatei Tanbō
Tsutaya Jūzaburō
Kyōwa 4 [1804]
Cover of Ehon kyōka yama mata yama v. 2

Ehon kyōka yama mata yama v. 2

繪本狂歌山満多山
Katsushika, Hokusai; Benbenkan Koryū; Ōharatei Tanbō
Tsutaya Jūzaburō
Kyōwa 4 [1804]
Cover of Ehon kyōka yama mata yama v. 3

Ehon kyōka yama mata yama v. 3

繪本狂歌山満多山
Katsushika, Hokusai; Benbenkan Koryū; Ōharatei Tanbō
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 noyamagusa v. 1

Ehon noyamagusa v. 1

繪本野山草
Tachibana, Yasukuni
Cover of Ehon noyamagusa v. 2

Ehon noyamagusa v. 2

繪本野山草
Tachibana, Yasukuni
Cover of Ehon noyamagusa v. 3

Ehon noyamagusa v. 3

繪本野山草
Tachibana, Yasukuni
Cover of Ehon noyamagusa v. 4

Ehon noyamagusa v. 4

繪本野山草
Tachibana, Yasukuni

Pages