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 Shul,zol, Suiko meimeiden

Shūzō Suiko meimeiden

繡像水滸銘々傳
Kōkyōan Kasen; Taiso, Yoshitoshi
Cover of Soga benran

Soga benran

鹿畫便覧
Ōnogi Ichibē
Hōreki 11 [1761]
Cover of Soga haya-dehon

Soga haya-dehon

麁画早手本
Cover of Soken gafu

Soken gafu

素絢畫譜
Yamaguchi, Soken
Noda Kasuke
Bunka 3 [1806]
Cover of Soken sansui gafu

Soken sansui gafu

素絢山水畵譜
Cover of Sol,hitsu gafu

Sōhitsu gafu

草筆画譜
Cover of Sol,ka hyakki

Sōka hyakki

挿花百規
Ikenobō, Senjō
publisher not identified
1820]
Cover of Sol,ka matsu no midori

Sōka matsu no midori

挿花松の翠
Ganshōsai Itchō; Sawa, Sessai; Akizuki, Korehide
Izumiya Shōjirō
Bunsei 10 [1827]]
Cover of Sumol, shol,setsu katsu kongol,den

Sumō shōsetsu katsu kongōden

角觝詳說活金剛傅
Utei, Enpa; Utagawa, Kuninao; Utagawa, Kunimaru
[publisher not identified]
[Bunsei 5, 1822]
Cover of Taima mandara sol,gensho

Taima mandara sōgensho

當麻曼荼羅搜玄疏
Sawada Kichizaemon
Meiwa 9 [1772]
Cover of Tansei ippan

Tansei ippan

丹青弌斑
Yoshikawa Hanshichi
Meiji 27 [1894]-
Cover of Teito gakei ichiran

Teito gakei ichiran

帝都雅景一覽
Cover of Tenrei jittai senjimon

Tenrei jittai senjimon

篆隷十體千字文
Sun, Xian; Wang, Ji; Zhou, Xingsi
Wakabayashi Kihē shi
Bunka 14 [1817]
Cover of Tobae ol,gi no mato

Tobae ōgi no mato

鳥羽繪扇乃的
Kawachiya Eisuke
Tenmei 8 [1788]
Cover of Tokai setsuyol, hyakkatsul,

Tokai setsuyō hyakkatsū

都會節用百家通
Takayasu, Rooku; Kama, Shōka; Niwa, Tōkei; Tsurumine, Shigenobu
Cover of Tokaido gojusantsugi

Tokaido gojusantsugi

東海道五十三次
Andō, Hiroshige
[Meiji period, 1868-1912?]
Cover of Tokaido gojusantsugi

Tokaido gojusantsugi

東海道五十三次
Andō, Hiroshige
[Edo period, 1600-1868]
Cover of Tokaido gojusantsugi zokuga

Tokaido gojusantsugi zokuga

東海道五十三次續画
Andō, Hiroshige
[Edo period, 1600-1868]
Cover of Tol,kaidol, ful,kei zue

Tōkaidō fūkei zue

東海道風景圖會
Fujioka Keijirō
Kaei 4 [1851]
Cover of Tol,kaidol, gojul,santsugi hachiyama zue

Tōkaidō gojūsantsugi hachiyama zue

東海道五十三驛鉢山図繪
Cover of Tol,ryul, chanoyu rudenshul,

Tōryū chanoyu rudenshū

當流茶之湯流傳集
Cover of Tol,sei ful,zoku gojul,ban utaawase

Tōsei fūzoku gojūban utaawase

當世風俗五十番歌合
Yoshikawa Hanshichi
Meiji 40 [1907]
Cover of Tol,to jul,nikei kyol,kashul,

Tōto jūnikei kyōkashū

東都十二景狂歌集
Ishikawa, Masamochi; Totoya, Hōkkei; Shakuyakutei Nagane
Cover of Ukiyo ehon Nukumedori

Ukiyo ehon Nukumedori

浮世繪本媛女鳥
Okumura, Masanobu
publisher not indicated
between 1700-1868]
Cover of Unhitsu soga

Unhitsu soga

運筆麁畵
[Akitaya Taemon]
[after Kan'en 2 [1749]]
Cover of Unkashul,

Unkashū

雲霞集
Yamada Unsōdō
Meiji 36 [1903]
Cover of Wa-Kan chashi

Wa-Kan chashi

和漢茶誌
Akitaya Taemon
Bunka 15 [1818]
Cover of Wa-Kan ehon sakigake

Wa-Kan ehon sakigake

和漢繪本魁
Katsushika, Hokusai
Kitajima Junshirō
[after Tenpō 7 [1836]]
Cover of Wa-Kan meigaen

Wa-Kan meigaen

和漢名畵苑
Ōnogi Ichibē
Kan'en 3 [1750]
Cover of Wu yi you yi zhai lun hua shi

Wu yi you yi zhai lun hua shi

Li Baoxun
s.n.
1909
Cover of Yachigusa

Yachigusa

八千草
Hatsubaijo Honda Unkindō
Meiji <35-36 [1902-1903]>
Cover of Yakusha sanjul,rokkasen - zen

Yakusha sanjūrokkasen : zen

俳優三十六花撰 : 全
Utagawa, Toyokuni; Totoya, Hokkei
Nakamuraya Katsugorō
Tenpō 6 [1835]
Cover of Yoshiie Ason yoroi chakuyol, shidai

Yoshiie Ason yoroi chakuyō shidai

義家朝臣鎧着用次第
Ise, Sadatake
Cover of Yoshitsune kunkol, zue

Yoshitsune kunkō zue

義經勲功圖會
Yamada, Isai; Nishimura, Baikei
Cover of Yol,fu gajol,

Yōfu gajō

雍府画帖
Yamada Unsōdō
Meiji 28-31 [1895-1898]
Cover of Yul,l,sai gafu

Yū̄sai gafu

融齋畫譜 : 花鳥全
Nakabayashi, Chikutō
Hishiya Magobē
[after Kōka 3 [1846]]
Cover of Zeshin iboku tairyul,kyo gafu

Zeshin iboku tairyūkyo gafu

是真遺墨對柳居画譜
Shibata, Zeshin; Shibata, Ichitarō
Yoshida Kyūbē
Meiji 40 [1907]
Cover of Zol,ge chol,kokuhol,

Zōge chōkokuhō

象牙彫刻法
Sōma, Kuni'nosuke
Cover of Zol,ho shoshul, butsuzol, zu

Zōho shoshū butsuzō zu

增補諸宗佛像圖彙
Daimonjiya Yosabē
Kansei 8 [1796]
Cover of Zol,ho shoshul, butsuzol, zui

Zōho shoshū butsuzō zui

增補諸宗佛像圖彙
Yamaguchiya Sashichi
[Meiji period, 1868-1912]
Cover of Byol,bu kakemono ezukushi

[Byōbu kakemono ezukushi]

[屏風掛物絵尽]
Hishikawa, Moronobu
Yamagataya
Genroku 14 [1701]
Cover of Denshin kaishu Ippitsu gafu

[Denshin kaishu Ippitsu gafu]

[傳神開手一筆畵譜]
Katsushika, Hokusai
Cover of Ehon Ogura no nishiki

[Ehon Ogura no nishiki]

[絵本小倉錦]
Okumura, Masanobu
[publisher not identified]
[after Genbun 5 [1740]]
Cover of Ehon seirol, bijin awase

[Ehon seirō bijin awase]

[繪本青樓美人合]
Suzuki, Harunobu
[publisher not identified]
[1770]
Cover of Ehon yotsu no toki

[Ehon yotsu no toki]

[繪本世都乃時]
Kitao, Shigemasa; Tani, Sogai
[publisher not identified]
[An'ei 4 [1775]]
Cover of Hokusai gashiki

[Hokusai gashiki]

[北齋画式]
Katsushika, Hokusai
[publisher not indicated]
[after 1819 before 1868]
Cover of Kanze-ryul, utaibon

[Kanze-ryū utaibon : Kanze Dayū Oribe shōku shinpon]

[観世流謡本 : 観世太夫織部章句真本]
Cover of Kanze-ryul, utaibon

[Kanze-ryū utaibon : Kanze Dayū Oribe shōku shinpon]

[観世流謡本 : 観世太夫織部章句真本]
Cover of Koryul, ikebana saizu

[Koryū ikebana saizu]

[古流生花再図]
Shōseisai Riyū
Cover of Kol,chol, gafu v. 2, c. 2

[Kōchō gafu v. 2, c. 2

[公長畫譜
Ueda, Kōchō
Cover of Kyol,ka ressen gazol,shul,

[Kyōka ressen gazōshū

[狂歌列仙画像集
Katsushika, Hokuga; Katsushika, Hokusai; Goshatei Kizan; Hōkien Kōkō
[publisher not identified]
[19th century?]
Cover of Rakuyaki -  Raku pottery

[Rakuyaki] = [Raku pottery]

[楽焼] = [Raku pottery]
Cover of Sakai Hol,itsu gajol, - Sakai Hol,itsu painting album

[Sakai Hōitsu gajō = Sakai Hōitsu painting album]

[酒井抱一画帖 = Sakai Hōitsu painting album]
Sakai, Hōitsu
[publisher not identified]
[between 1800 and 1912]
Cover of Sanjul,rokkasen

[Sanjūrokkasen]

[三十六歌仙]
Tosa, Mitsushige
Suminokura Soan
17--?]
Cover of Seirol, bijin awase sugata kagami

[Seirō bijin awase sugata kagami]

[青楼美人合姿鏡]
Kitao, Shigemasa; Katsukawa, Shunshō
Cover of Senjol, heikazu

[Senjō heikazu]

[專定瓶苍圖]
Ikenobō, Senjō; Ikenobō, Senmyō
[publisher not identified]
[after 1817 before 1900]
Cover of Setoyaki chaire - Seto ware tea container

[Setoyaki chaire] = [Seto ware tea container]

[瀬戸焼茶入] = [Seto ware tea container]
Cover of Toryul, moyol, hinagata tsuru no koe

[Toryū moyō hinagata tsuru no koe ]

[当流模様雛形鶴の声]
Nakajima, Tanjirō
Cover of Tol,ki chaire - Ceramic tea containers

[Tōki chaire] = [Ceramic tea containers]

[陶器茶入] = [Ceramic tea containers]
Cover of Tsuba, saya zuanshul, - Sketchbook of designs for sword guards and sword fittings

[Tsuba, saya zuanshū = Sketchbook of designs for sword guards and sword fittings]

[鍔・鞘図案集 = Sketchbook of designs for sword guards and sword fittings]
Cover of Yamato jinbutsu gafu

[Yamato jinbutsu gafu]

[倭人物画譜]
Yamaguchi, Soken
Cover of Yol,dol, jizu

[Yōdō jizu]

[幼童示図]
Utagawa, Kuniteru; Utagawa, Fusatane
Cover of Yul,jo no zu - Portraits of courtesans

[Yūjo no zu] = [Portraits of courtesans]

[遊女図] = [Portraits of courtesans]
Okumura, Masanobu
Kodera Chōbei
Genroku 15[1702]

Pages