Nippon Rekishi Gahô; No. 1

Dating from December, 1891, this may very well be the earliest published work of Takahashi Shôtei. It is a double page spread, with each plate about 18 x 13 cm, entitled, "Enno-Ozunu Used Magic Cleverly" The diptych depicts Enno-Ozunu (also known as Enno-Gyôja), the founder of the Shugendô sect of Buddhism. He seems to be levitating in a seated position while some horned beings are preparing to make tea for him. Click on the image for a very high resolution view.

These pages are from a publication called "Nippon Rekishi Gahô" (Illustrated Magazine of Japanese History) Volume Number 1, published by Ôkura Shôten. The editor was Matsumoto Fûko, Shôtei's uncle and mentor. When this was published, Takahashi Shôtei was 20 years of age, a week short of his 21st birthday.

Stylistically, this composition is reminiscent of the manga work of Katsushika Hokusai and considerably different from Shôtei's later work. The distinctive seal establishes for us that he used the art name "Shôtei" very early in his career.

Title Page

Click on the image for a higher resolution version. Here are some translations:

1. Nippon Rekishi Gaho No. 1

2. Contents

3. Matsumoto Fûko picture

4. "Enno-Ozunu Used Magic Cleverly", Takahashi Shôtei picture

5. Printed December 10, 1891; Published December 26, 1891

6. Editor Matsumoto Fûko

7. Ôkura Shôten

My great appreciation goes to Koshinuma Tadashi, of Tokyo, for finding these images and making them available for this use. Thank you Koshinuma-san!
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