October 2002 - Five Additional Hasui Prints Re-issued by Watanabe

As many collectors of Hasui prints already know, the Watanabe Publishing House surprised the collector's community earlier in 2002 with the first reprinting of five early Hasui designs. At that time, Watanabe promised that additional re-issued prints would soon follow, as did happen with the second re-issuing of of five Hasui prints in mid-June 2002. Now, a third batch of earlier (1930 to 1940) prints has been re-issued. As before, all prints follow the high quality standards for which Watanabe Publishing is so well known.

All prints are sealed with a black round 7mm Watanabe seal and the red "Heisei-seal."

The following is excerpted from previous January 2002 article:

"New" in this case, however, does NOT mean that these prints were previously unknown, instead simply that they have just not been printed for the past thirty to fifty years - for perhaps a variety of reasons.

I do recall, around two years ago, that during one of my personal meetings with Mr. Shoichiro Watanabe he told me that they were at that time collecting and combining sets of woodblocks that had been scattered in different locations for many years and that, once the sets were complete (and in good condition) printing would be resumed of these "old" Hasui designs.

Well, that moment has again come true!! According to the Watanabe Publishing House, all blocks used in their printing are the original blocks. "The prints are from the original blocks, therefore we call them "atosuri" - or late editions. In case of any re-cut blocks, we would (otherwise) name them reproductions".

When recently asked why it had taken so long to reprint these fine designs, a simple reply was given: "Increased customer's demand." We do not know who printed the new Hasui's, but it is clearly evident that the level of quality is very high - in accordance with the consistently high standards of Watanabe.

The "location comments" provided below are offered through the eyes of Dr. Andreas Grund, a full-time and now 13-year resisdent of Tokyo.


Narazaki N168

"Omori Beach" 1930

"Omori" (literally translated as "Great Forest") once was small suburb in the southwest of Tokyo, nowadays halfway between Shingawa and Kawasaki, close to the Haneda Airport. The romantic scenery as shown on the print completely (and sadly) disappreared. Today, Ohmori is the typical mixture of residential areas with small shopping alleys and industry.

Watanabe H**


Narazaki N172

"Sengaku Temple" 1931

This temple, not far from Shinagawa Station in the south of Tokyo, still exists today. It is most famous for its graveyard of the 47 Ronin, who are buried there after they revenged their master and committed suicide. For those who want to know the full story, see "The 47 Ronin."

Watanabe H**


Narazaki N174a

"Mairi River" 1931

I (Andreas) didn't know until today that this river exists, can't comment at all.... (Remember, even for a full-time, 13-year resisdent of Tokyo, this--one of the largest cities in the world--remains a large and complex area.

Watanabe H**


Narazaki N176

"Evening at Tago Bay" 1940

This is a typical view of majestic Mt. Fuji. Additional artists, among them Tsuchiya Koitsu, also sketched Fuji-san from this location for a later print.

Watanabe H**


Narazaki N211

"Twin Islands at Matsushima" 1933

North of Sendai, at the Pacific Ocean, we find an area called Matsushima or "Pine Islands." It is characterized by hundreds of small and tiny islands, many of them with pine trees. Many further shin hanga artists have made prints of these beautiful islands, e.g., Kasamatsu and Koitsu, to name only a few.

Watanabe H**


NOTE: Any of the above five prints are available for sale--INQUIRE.

(c) September 2002, Andreas Grund and Thomas Crossland