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The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road Illustrated Handscroll Hoeido Series, Reproduced from Carefully Selected Originals in full-scale size, Goes on Sale
High-Quality Commercial Reproduction with the Full Cooperation of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

March 1, 2018

Digital Hybrid Company TOPPAN FORMS. CO., LTD. (TOPPAN FORMS hereunder) has reproduced Utagawa Hiroshige’s Hoeido Series of the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road in full-scale size in the format of a handscroll with the full cooperation of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, world-renowned for their collection of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. This Hoeido Series of the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road Illustrated Handscroll will go on sale from March 1, 2018.

The original prints reproduced in this Handscroll were carefully selected one-by-one from the more than 500 prints making up the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The prints depict 55 locations (53 relay stations in addition to Edo and Kyoto) and were selected by Sarah E. Thompson*1, curator of Japanese Prints at the Museum. Most of the prints in Boston are from the Spaulding Collection, which is normally not open to the public under any circumstances as the delicate and fragile colors of the ukiyo-e prints may easily fade, and this Handscroll contains prints from that collection as well. Moreover, although the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston does not generally allow reproductions in full-scale size from its collections, they agreed to this commercial reproduction as an exception because this is the first attempt at using digital printing technology to reproduce a handscroll also for the Museum.
This publication can also be used as a bilingual academic resource or reference as it contains detailed commentaries in English (with Japanese translation) by Sarah E. Thompson.

Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road Illustrated Handscroll Hoeido Series

Features

  • 1. It combines high-quality special printing and traditional processing techniques
    By combining the latest digital printing technology and the traditional craftsmanship of manual mounting, we were able to reproduce the original prints in full-scale size and demonstrate the high-quality appeal of an authentically-made handscroll.
  • 2. The originality of using long-web printing to avoid “splicing”
    We used high-performance digital printers and software dedicated to long-web printing to print the handscroll, which is tens of meters in length, in one piece, allowing you to enjoy to fully and smoothly appreciate the visual effect and function of this original work.
  • 3. Superior color effects and light resistance with washi paper
    By using world-renowned washi paper (torinokogami) from Japan and toners with high light resistance, we realized the unique texture and outstanding color effects of picture scrolls, which has not been possible with conventional printing ink. This makes possible semi-permanent presarvation without risking faded colors.
  • 4. The handscroll format allows you to enjoy the personal experience and real charm of travel
    Appreciating the handscroll as originally intended (unroll about 80 cm of the scroll with your left hand and go through it while rolling it up with your right hand) lets you view the individual works as serial pictures. In this way, you can always have a personal experience of Edo-period travel and enjoy the handscroll’s unique charm.
  • 5. Commentaries by a leading art historian in the field of ukiyo-e prints
    It comes with a concise and detailed commentaries (with English original text) by Sarah E. Thompson (Curator for Japanese Prints, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) along with captions in Japanese and English, which is not only helpful for appreciating the essence of these masterpieces, but also has an academic value as a precious history resource and reference.

Specifications & Pricing

The Hoeido Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road, scrolls 1 and 2

Dimensions Scroll 1: L 1,250cm x W 33cm; Scroll 2: L 1,150cm x W 33cm
Backing of Frontispiece Kissho marumontsunagi komon pattern (scrolls 1 and 2)
Cover edge Gold foil finish
End paper Gold dust paper
Binding Braided silk cords and bone clips
Shaft ends Rosewood
Wooden roll Cypress wood
Box High-grade paulownia box for two scrolls with inro finish in fine carton box
Standard price ¥ 360,000 (excluding tax)
  • *1 About the Hoeido Series of the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road
    Hiroshige’s Hoeido Series of the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road portrayed a place-of-interest series that fulfilled the desires and needs of the common people in the context of the mature townspeople culture of late Edo period, and it was greatly succesful. Hiroshige was inspired by the novel style of Katsushika Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mount Fuji published some years prior and created daring compositions by also applying Western perspective drawing, opening up a new realm of ukiyo-e landscape paintings. The greatness of Hiroshige lies in his not confining himself to simple place-of-interest or travel pictures, but attempting dramatic and lively depictions of wind, rain, and other natural elements, scenes and events that draw out a sense of season or time of year, and people’s animated gestures and expressions, thus displaying his outstanding ability to the fullest. Hiroshige produced some 20 Tokaido series, but the one that remains world-renowned as a masterpiece even today is the Hoeido Series, which was published first.

  • *2 About Sarah E. Thompson
    Currently curator for Japanese Prints, Department of Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has a BA in lingustics at Harvard University and a PhD in Japanese Art from Columbia University. She has taught Japanese and East Asian art at Vassar College, Oberlin College, and the University of Oregon, and started working at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2004. She participated in the planning of the museum’s Japanese Print Access and Documentation Project (JPADP) in 2005, after which she created a digital catalog of the more than 50,000 ukiyo-e prints in the Museum’s collections, the largest in the world outside Japan. She has curated numerous exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and elswhere, including the 2005 Hokusai exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
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  • ※ Other product names, etc., stated elsewhere are the registered trademarks or brands of each company.
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