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The Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kisokaido
The Kisokaido series (1852 - 53) by Kuniyoshi consists of a total of 72 prints; a title page, a print for each of the end points and two prints for each of the stations in between. As it was such a large series it was shared amongst 12 different publishers, the trade mark of which appears on every print. Many of the prints also display the name of the block cutter, the printer or both. In all the names of 31 different people appear on the 72 prints in the series.

Each print consists of three pictorial elements; the main picture, the inset landscape and the decorative border that frames the red panel in the upper right hand corner. This panel contains the name of the series, and is the same on every print, however the pictorial border is alway related in some way to the main story. The panel to the left contains, in large characters, the name of the station, and in smaller characters, the name/s of the persons depicted. Above this are the two censor's seals. In the upper left corner is a panel depicting the landscape of the station, the shape of the panel or it's border - or both, somehow relate to the story.

The bottom left corner has additional information such as the artists signature and seal, the print number, a third censorship seal providing the date of the publication (with some mistakes on some prints apparently as it was a relatively new system at this time), the trademark of the publisher, and where provided the block cutter and printers names.

The humour (mitate) in this series lies within the selection itself, the matching of  the place names with specific stories. In some of the prints the story actually took place at the location. In most though, the story is matched to a location because of a pun on a persons name, a place name, or some other element within the story.

The Kosikaido highway (click map for larger view).
Prints within the series
The 69 stations of the Kisokaido

The 69 stations of the Kisokaido

Kisokaido map
Reference prints generally unfaded (selected to match prints in my collection only).
69 stations 6

69 stations 6

69 stations 10

69 stations 10

69 stations 17

69 stations 17

69 stations 19

69 stations 19

69 stations 28

69 stations 28

69 stations 48

69 stations 48

#10 Fukaya - a print of interest. Of all the prints I have seen in this series print number 10 seems to be the one that stands out as having been experimented with by the printers. You will notice different colour applications within the sky, peasants clothing, subtitle panel, Yurikawa's clothing, plains, ground, distant mountains and landscape panel.
69 stations 10 ST
69 stations 10
69 stations 10 b
69 stations 10 RT