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  • Thumbnail for Page showing the Kyoto Hachiman Shrine, from the book, Wakoku meisho kagami - A Mirror of Famous Sites of Japan
    Page showing the Kyoto Hachiman Shrine, from the book, Wakoku meisho kagami - A Mirror of Famous Sites of Japan by Hishikawa Moronobu (died 1694)

    Double page woodblock printed book illustration; ink and light colors (applied by hand) on paper. This small page from an important, VERY rare early printed book, by the founding father of Ukiyo-e printmaking, is a precursor to the types of books that in the 18th century became produced in great numbers and were in widespread circulation then. During the 18th century, travel (or armchair travels) became exceedingly popular. The description of the place, written from right to left above the illustration, shows how integral pictures were to printed texts. The placement of the text above the illustration was an innovation of Moronobu and is characteristic of his books.