Jōkata Kaiseki

Undated photo of the artist

Note: The photo of the artist on the left may have originated with the artist's grandson. It appears on the website http://www.fjsan.net/fj0412kaiseki.htm

Jōkata Kaiseki 定方塊石 (1882-1966*) 

* The artist's death date is uncertain, with several sources showing his death date as "unknown."


Sources: Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, Merritt, Helen and Nanako Yamada, University of Hawaii Press: Honolulu, 1992 p. 50; Ohmi Gallery website. 

Little is known of this artist’s personal life other than he was born in Okayama and lived in Osaka and, possibly, Tokyo. It is reported in the Shinbaku's Dictionary of Art Names that his "name is 耀慶" (which, I assume, was his given name), that he graduated from Kwansei Gakuin University, studied under the Japanese style painter Kose Shōseki 巨勢小石 (1843-1919) and went to France for a time and was accepted into the Salon d'Automne .1

The work for which Jōkata is unquestionably best known is his series of prints depicting Mount Fuji. While nothing seems to be known of the artist's life, when his series of prints titled Twenty-Five Views of Mount Fuji was published in 1931, it was accompanied by essays praising his work from three well-known artists of the time, two of whom were members of the Imperial Art Academy, suggesting Jōkata was fairly prominent at the time. In addition to his prints depicting Mount Fuji, one other woodblock print, shown below, is extant along with one painting on silk, also shown below. A fuller discussion of Jōkata's Mount Fuji prints follows.


Sankeien, not dated

(Sankien Gardens,Yokohama)

published by International Fine Print Publishing Society


(as written in left margin)


Uegahara, 1927

painting on silk

The Kaiseki Mount Fuji Prints

Jōkata self-published (under the name Kaiseki Print Publication Society 塊石版画刊行会) the series Twenty-Five Views of Mt.Fuji in 1931, which was carved by Kawatsura Yoshio (1880-1963), who was also a print maker.2 The prints present traditional views of sacred Mount Fuji, often accompanied by modern elements, such as airplanes and transmission towers. 

Merritt and others3 report that Jōkata created a series of twelve landscapes of Mount Fuji "ca. 1929," also carved by Kawatsura, but this cannot be verified. It seems most likely that she had incomplete information and made her deduction about the number of prints and their date looking at a partial set of prints from the 1931 series. Outside of the twenty-five prints depicting Mount Fuji belonging to the 1931 series, thumbnails of which are provided in the table below, I have come across only one additional print by Jōkata depicting Fuji. Unfortunately, this print (see below) depicting Mount Fuji as seen from the Shōnan Coast, crowded with groups of women in modern bathing suits and traditional dress, is not dated.


Jōkata Kaiseki [title unknown (Mount Fuji from the Shōnan Coast)]

Source: https://www.city.fujisawa.kanagawa.jp/bunkazai/press/hujisawasagaminochizutorekishi.html

The table of contents for the 1931 series, shown towards the bottom of this page, contains three laudatory commentaries by well-known artists of the time - Kurushima Takehiko (1874-1950), one of the best-known authors of children's literature of the period, Yūki Somei (1875-1957), a Japanese-style and Western-style painter (who also designed prints) and a member of the Imperial Art Academy and Kanokogi Taskeshirō (1874-1941), a Western-style painter and print artist, also a member of the Imperial Art Academy.  Titles for the commentaries can be loosely translated as "On the Occasion of a Close Friend's Outstanding Achievement", "A Marvelous Work that Opened up the Frontier's Unexplored Boundary" and "Exquisite and Excellent Work for Future Generations."

While the table of contents tells us that the complete twenty-five print series 富士二十五景 (Twenty-Five Views of Mount Fuji) was limited to an edition of one hundred prints, I believe the prints were also issued separately in unknown numbers.  Other information in the table of contents sheet tells us that the cost for the entire set was 250 yen 貳百五十圓3; that the paper used for the prints was a special paper made in the famous paper-making town of Echizen and that the prints were hand-carved and hand-colored woodblock prints 手摺手彩色木版畫.  As shown in the below table, the table of contents indicates that the prints making up the series were divided into twelve folders or envelopes, the first eleven containing two prints each and the twelfth containing three prints.

The prints in the series were issued both without margins and also with small margins. I believe that all the prints issued as part of the limited edition 1931 series are without margins, such as IHL Cat. #1194, and that prints with margins, such as IHL Cat. #1669, may have been issued individually at a later date.  

The below table provides thumbnails of each print along with my English translation of the Japanese title as given in the table of contents; a transcription of the Japanese title appearing in the table of contents; and an "alternate title" sometimes used by other sources which may have been present on some of the presentation folders accompanying individual prints. Note there are no titles on any of the prints themselves.

Twenty-Five Views of Fuji 富士二十五景

published by Kaiseki Print Publication Society 塊石版画刊行会

in Shōwa 6 (1931)

 The Imperial Palace and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents: 



 Alternate Title:


A Shimosoga Plum Orchard and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents:



 Alternate Title: 小田原梅園からの富士

 Note: Shimosoga 下曾我 is located in

 Odawara 小田原 

Mount Fuji from the South

Table of Contents:


南から見た富士 Note: English title is sometimes seen as   "Southern View of Fuji in Early Spring"

Lake Araya and Mount Fuji

Table of Contents: (第二輯)


Kannon Temple at Matsuda and Mount Fuji

Table of Contents:


松田の觀音堂と富士 Alternate Title:

初春- 松田からの富士

Note: Alternate Title translates as "Early Spring,   Mount Fuji from Matsuda"

Benten Island, Lake Hamana and Mount Fuji

Table of Contents:


濱名湖辨天嶋と富士 Note: Bentenjima is a small island located in the   south part of Lake Hamana. 

 Enoshima and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents:



 Alternate Title:


New Year at the Lakshore and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents:



 Alternate Title:


 Note: Alternate Title translates as "Mount Fuji   from Kawaguchi Village" 

Fujiyoshida [Sengen] Shrine and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents:



 Alternate Title:


 Note: Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine, formally known as Kitaguchi Hongū Fuji Sengen Jinja (北口本宮冨士 浅間神社, "North Entrance Fuji Sengen Shrine") is   the main Sengen Shrine on the north side of the   mountain. 

 The Sakawa River and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents:



 Alternate Title: 酒匂川の富士

Fukusenji and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents:(第輯)


 Lake Kawaguchi and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents:



Ooigawa and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents:



  Note: English title sometimes seen as "Mount Fuji   from the Oigawa Bridge"

The Rural Cottages in Onuma and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents:



The Port of Shimizu and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents:



 Sanomura and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents: (第八輯)


 Alternate Title:


The Peach Orchards of Hara and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents: (第九輯)


 Asukayama and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents: (第九輯)


 Alternate Title:


 Note: Alternate Title references the cherry blossoms of Asukayama.

Otodomenotaki and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents: (第十輯) 


 Mount Shichimen and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents: (第輯)


Kamiide and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents: (第十一輯)


 Kisarazu and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents:



 Alternate Title:


 The Komadome Cherry Tree and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents: (第十二輯)


The Kano River and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents: (第十二輯)


Kōfu Park and Mount Fuji

 Table of Contents:(第十二輯)


 Alternate Title:


 Note: Alternate Title reads "Mount Fuji from Maizuru Castle" which is located in Kōfu Park (Maizuru Castle Park)

Twenty-Five Views of Mount Fuji - Table of Contents

click on image to enlarge

1 Website of SHIBUNKAKU CO., LTD https://www.shibunkaku.co.jp/biography/?q=%E5%AE%9A%E6%96%B9%E5%A1%8A%E7%9F%B3&c=all [accessed 11-24-23]

2 Title of this series is often seen as Twenty-Five Views of Mt.Fuji in the Four Seasons, but I have not seen this title on any of the documentation issued with the prints. The series is referred to as 塊石版畫富士 and 富士二十五景 in the table of contents for the 1931 series and as 士版薗傑作選 on the folders or labels for some of the prints.

2 All other sources seem to rely upon the Merritt "ca. 1929" date in Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, Helen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1992, p. 50.

3 If I am reading the price correctly, 250 yen in 1931 converted to about 122 dollars U.S. which is nearly 2,000 in 2017 dollars.

Signature and Seal of the Artist

塊石 Kaiseki

sealed 塊石 Kaiseki 

latest revision:


Prints in Collection

click on thumbnail for print details