[EHON] Nishikawa SUKENOBU. Shinpan ?ji ISE MONOGATARI 2 vols. 26.7 x 18.5 cm. Large Ôhon. It would be hard to do justice to the bibliographical complexity surrounding this very famous book. Kansai University in Ôsaka mounted an online exhibition dedicated to the illustrations of the ISE MONOGATARI. They chose as the two most representative and canonical suites of illustrations those from the SAGA-BON edition done in the very early 17th century and the ones from this book, illustrated by the important Ukiyoe artist Nishikawa Sukenobu and originally published in Enkyô 4 [1747]. Further investigation reveals several interesting facts: First, it would appear that the only copy of the 1747 edition appears to be the one shown by Kansai University, which they say is a printing done later that year under the imprint of booksellers in Edo, Ôsaka and Kyôto. The three others we have located (at the National Research Institute for Japanese Literature), and ours, are from an identically printed edition with a changed colophon, which moves the place of publication to Minoya Heibei on Teramachi in Kyôto from Yoshinoya Fujibei and the colophon date to Hôreki 6 [1756]. The printing quality is for the most part indistinguishable from the earlier Kansai University owned printing. There is one more, if tangential, complication..... Waseda University also has an edition of the ISE MONOGATARI, also dated 1756, also said to be illustrated by Sukenobu on the colophon, but with different printer/publishers and the book and its illustrations are totally different! The illustrations appear quite pedestrian, nowhere near the quality of the Kansai University copy or ours. Could this other edition be some sort of pirated edition with faux Sukenobu prints (he had died a few years earlier, in 1750)? In any event, ours is a lovely large format Sukenobu in a good printing. The covers are worn, but original, as are the printed title labels. In a fitted custom clasped chitsu case. Complete:

$4,500.00