First Edo Guidebook, 1677

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edo suzume1江戶雀 : 12卷 [Edo suzume: 12-kan]. Authors include Entsu Chikayuki, among many others. Woodblock prints painted by Hishikawa Moronobu (ca. 1620-1694) (Edo: Tsuruya Kiemon, 1677). 12 volumes, 35 woodblock prints. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process.

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A reminder: this is printed from a hand cut woodblock.

edo suzume9“The Edo Suzume (Sparrows) was the first periodical published in the Edo period. It was compiled from practical guides to famous places in Edo and in the final section it lists up all the Daimyō residences, shrines and temples, neighborhoods and bridges with the explanation that it intended to summarize the area covering approximately 12km in every direction. It forms together with the guides of Kyoto and Osaka (Namba), the Three Suzume.” –Tokyo Metropolitan Library

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“This is considered to be the earliest Edo periodical and was authored and published by Edo residents and it is also highly rated as a picture book containing illustrations by Moronobu Hishikawa who is considered to be the founder of Ukiyo-e paintings. At the introduction, it says that practical guides to famous local places, historic sites, temples and shrines were provided for the benefit of those who came to Edo from their home regions. The city center is divided by direction and each one is depicted in great detail from Daimyō residences, shrines and temples and famous historic sites all the way to streets and houses allowing us to know how to reach there.”

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Jack Hillier, The Art of the Japanese Book (London, 1987). (GARF) Oversize NC991 .H55q