Founder name was Tanaka Ryozo born in 1874, Kyoto who worked at a bookstore
"Tsujimoto Shosho Do" in Osaka and moved to its Tokyo branch office. Then he
finally succeeded in opening his own shop named "Tokyo Shobido Gakyoku"
dealing with woodblock prints on April 3 in Meiji 30th year (1897) at
Okemachi, Kyobashi, Tokyo Founding capital was 30 yen with only one cart
and 600 woodblock prints for sale. In 1898 his shop was moved to Jinbocho at
Kanda area, where he expanded his business line into promising post cards by
new printing method. ( I believe that he could also continue his woodblock
printing for Hasui, Koitsu, Shotei and other artists in 1930's.)
Just after the World War in 1945 his business was succeeded by Tanaka Teizo
(his son?). In 1962 Tanaka Teizo formed a new community group of "Kanda Kai"
starting to edit this town journal of "Kanda". Then after in 1977 Tanaka
Sanae took over his office up to very recent date of 1999/06/30 in Kanda.
The above information was submitted by Tosh Doi in July, 2003. It is a
summary of an article that he found in the town journal of "Kanda"
In the world of shin hanga research, there are occasional rewards for those who keep their
eyes open. Here is a "new" piece of data which shatters a myth or two.
In November, 2001, courtesy of Robert O. Muller, I came into possession of a photostat of a
catalog, apparently produced by the publisher Shôbidô Tanaka and Company operating
under the trade name of "Globe's".
This catalog was acquired by Mr. Muller in Japan in Spring, 1940.
In addition to some reproductions of old ukiyo-e masterpieces, it contains original prints designed
in the 1930s by Kawase Hasui, Tsuchiya Koitsu, and Takahashi Hiroaki.
The six Hasui prints are the ones attributed (in the Merritt/Yamada listing of
Hasui's works) to the publisher "Tokyo Shôbidô",
and listed in the Narazaki catalog raisonne as TS-1 through TS-6.
All six are pictured in this catalog and can be viewed in the scans below.
The seal to the right is from the margin of Shinobazu Pond by Hasui (TS-6 or A/1 below).
The characters above are illegible, but probably read Hankenshoyu or "copyright owned by".
Below that, it reads Tokyo Shôbidô Han.
Up until this discovery, I had accepted the incorrect common knowledge that Takahashi Shôtei (or Hiroaki) was
published only by Watanabe and Fusui Gabô.
This catalog contains 12 mitsugiri-ban format prints and almost 200 prints in smaller formats, all
clearly attributed to Hiroaki.
There are 3 Hiroaki prints displayed in the Chigasaki Museum's catalog of their Tsuchiya Koitsu
show. They are also displayed in Shôbidô's catalog as prints B/1, B/2, and B/3.
Chigasaki attributed them to the publisher "Tanaka Han".
So, what we have here is a single publisher, variously known as:
- Shôbidô Tanaka and Co.
- Tokyo Shôbidô Han
- Tanaka Han
Here are some pages from the catalog, for your entertainment.
To view high-res scans, click on the page image.