Hiroshige's Japan: On the Trail of the Great Woodblock Print Master - A Modern-Day Artist's Journey on the Old Tokaido Road (Hardcover)
Presented alongside Hiroshige's prints, with descriptions and context, Delord's work offers an absorbing contemplation of Japan's past and present via one legendary travel route, and shows how thoroughly upended our surroundings have been in what was, in wider perspective, only a short time. -- The New York Times Journey along the famed Tokaido Road--an ancient thoroughfare with a modern twist. The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido is the best-known work of the great 19th century Japanese woodblock artist Utagawa Hiroshige. The series of 53 masterful woodblock prints depicts stops along the ancient Tokaido Road--which, from the eleventh to the nineteenth century, was the main thoroughfare between Tokyo and Kyoto. Though the road itself is now submerged under Japan's twenty-first-century urban landscape, French artist Philippe Delord set out to see if he could find the original locations, with just a moped, sketchbook, watercolors and a book of Hiroshige's prints. Hiroshige's Japan allows readers to make the journey alongside Delord, venturing from Tokyo and Mount Fuji to mountain passes and rugged coastlines. Inside are all 53 original scenery prints made by Hiroshige, alongside their modern-day equivalent by Delord. A lively commentary about his experiences as he tries to locate each of the 53 scenes (without speaking Japanese ) offers readers an insightful, and often humorous, look into both modern and historical Japan. Part travelogue, part work of art, this book is sure to delight armchair travelers, history buffs, art enthusiasts and Japanophiles alike.
Philippe Delord was born in France in 1961. His first travel adventures took place by flashlight beneath his bedcovers with the stories of Jack London, Jules Verne and James Oliver Curwood, all of which inspired in him a longing to travel. In 1999 he traveled to Egypt, following the trail of eighteenth century artist and traveler Louis-Francois Cassas; in 2002 he traced the footsteps of writer-adventurer Henry de Monfried through the countries bordering the Red Sea, and from 2013 onwards he made several visits to Japan to explore the ancient Tokaido Road, and recorded his findings in Hiroshige's Japan. He sketches from life using pencil and watercolor, and has exhibited his work in Paris and Geneva.