1837 En'o Gafu / MARUYAMA OKYO - SET of TWO JAPANESE PICTURE BOOKS ILLUSTRATED with WOODBLOCK PRINTS
En'o Gafu - SET of TWO JAPANESE ILLUSTRATED BOOKS. WOODBLOCK ILLUSTRATIONS by MARUYAMA OKYO. Edited by Yamaguchi Soken.
Published in JAPAN, (publisher unstated), 1837 (Tenpo 8), 3rd month. First Edition, First Printing. (Reprint was published in 1893 under the title: Okyo gafu.)
Two Volumes, 7.5x10.5 inches (18.5x26 cm), textured paper covers with paper title labels, stab-stitch binding, printed on double leaves,  pages and  pages. Both volumes are held together in a custom blue cloth folding case with bone side clasps.
Filled with double page hand colored woodblock prints by Maruyama Okyo.
CONDITION: The covers are rubbed, scraped, and soiled; the paper title labels have substantially chipped away; the top stitch of one volume has come loose but the volume remains bound with the remaining three lower stab stitches; despite the flaws the covers are still doing their job well. Internally, there is worming throughout. The volume picturing people has some on all the pages, most pages with an inch or less but some pages with worming at several places on the page. The volume picturing animals and landscapes has worming to the bottom margin of the latter pages but most of the volume's pages have little or no worming. The colors on the prints are slightly faded but overall the prints remain bright, clear and quite lovely. A complete, presentable set of these two volumes, in a solid, lightly sunned and rubbed folding slipcase.
VERY RARE 1837 FIRST PRINTING. WorldCat lists one copy and it is held at the Smithsonian Freer Museum of Asian Art. (I have collated this copy with the digitized copy of the Smithsonian.)
About Maruyama Okyo (from Wikipedia):
******Maruyama Okyo, b.1733 d.1795, born Maruyama Masataka, was a Japanese artist active in the late 18th century. He moved to Kyoto, during which he studied artworks from Chinese, Japanese and Western sources. A personal style of Western naturalism mixed with Eastern decorative design emerged, Okyo founded the Maruyama school of painting.
Success prompted Okyo to start a school in Kyoto, where he could teach his new style. He taught students to rely on nature to render images in a realistic picture of light, shadow, and forms. The school grew popular, and branches soon appeared in other locations, including Osaka. Much of the school's work is today preserved at Daijo-ji, a temple in Kasumi. Noteworthy pupils include Okyo's son, Maruyama Ozui, Nagasawa Rosetsu, and Matsumura Goshun.
Goshun joined Okyo's school in 1787. The two became fast friends, and Okyo refused to regard their relationship as that of a teacher and student. Goshun later went on to found the Shijo school.******
About Yamaguchi Soken (from Wikipedia):
******Yamaguchi Soken, also called Takejiro, b.1759 d.1818, was a Japanese painter of the Shijo school. He was called one of the "Ten Great Ones", he was taught by Maruyama Okyo.
He was the son of a kimono merchant. As a result, he came to specialize in pictures of women, and his skill at painting them became proverbial. He also created landscapes, pictures of birds and flowers and what, in Western art, would be known as genre scenes. Many of these represent the life and customs of Kyoto in a light and witty way.
He also produced illustrated books; including Yamato jimbutsu (Japanese Portrait Gallery, 1800) and Yamato jimbutsu gafu kohen (Human Figure Drawing, 1804), and one illustrated by his teacher Maruyama Okyo titled En'o Gafu, published posthumously in 1837, as well as other books and translations.
His works are held in museums throughout the world, including the Nezu Museum, the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, among many others.******