An Illustrated Album by Tamechika Okada

OKADA, Tamechika.  An album of ca. 84 folding leaves of drawings, many of which are signed and fully annotated by Okada, plus several folding & inserted drawings.  8vo (262 x 182 mm.), cont. wrappers, stitched.  [Japan]: ca. 1856-64.

Okada (1823-64, who also used the names Tametaka Okada, Tamechika Reizei, Eikyo Kano, or Tamechika Sugawara), was an important figure in the Yamato-e tradition of artists, who preserved traditional subjects and styles of Japanese art.  He “copied ancient paintings, sought aristocratic and imperial patrons and actively joined in the contemporary restorationist movements.”–Grove Art online.  Active in Kyoto, Okada specialized in “painted Buddhist subjects and figures.  He first studied Kano style painting before switching to classic Yamato-e.  He came under the influence of Ukita Ikkei.  He was murdered by a wandering samurai in Tambaichi, Yamato.”–Benezit.

The manuscript title on the upper cover is “Kamidate zakki; onoborisan no kyomiyage kan jusan” [trans.: “Collection of Notes and Illustrations brought back from Kyoto by a Provincial.  Thirteenth Volume” (our translation does not nearly do justice to the wit of this inscription)].  The sketchbook was clearly assembled by Okada, and contains some later additions by his disciples.     At the end, there is a large (980 x 550 mm.) folding drawing in brush and wash depicting the royal court, signed by Okada.