Title: Shaka goichidaiki zue. The Life of Shakyamuni, Or, The Life of Buddha, 1884. 6 Volumes
Author: Yamada Isai
Artist: Katsushika Hokusai
Condition: Very Good
A rare and scarce late 19th century edition of Katsushika Hokusai's final illustrated masterpiece, being The Life of Buddha by Yamada Isai, originally published in 1845. This is a posthumous impression, using the original woodblock illustrations.
As Hokusai was a Buddhist himself, he had expressed his beliefs throughout these volumes with breathtaking religious artwork not typically found in his Manga series or other renowned works.
This series was originally written in a Jataka format, otherwise referred to as a tale of rebirth, describing various tales from the life of the Buddha.
Many illustrations are used as portents into the future, or of events yet to happen. Many of the serpents and demons depicted throughout the volumes serve such a purpose, and the growth of Buddhism as well, travelling from India throughout the rest of the Asian continent, until finally reaching Japan.
The six volumes follow in episodic format:
Volume 1 Features various illustrations of the Elemental Gods
Volume 2 Displays the great gathering of Buddhists and deities as they witness the birth and creation of the Buddha, as life is breathed into him by the Heavenly Two-Headed Dragon. The rest of the volume follows him throughout his youth.
Volume 3 Displays the Buddha as he educates his disciples while also avoiding temptation from a great demon
Volume 4 Displays various scenes from battles to sinners being punished by a heavenly demon
Volume 5 Displays various encounters with demons and dragons, ending with an armored Buddha defeating a terrifying three-eyed demon
Volume 6 Displays various scenes, including a striking illustration of the Wind God evoking a typhoon
There are six volumes in quarto, illustrated throughout with numerous woodblocks depicting some of the most famous illustrations of the Buddha's life
6 volumes in quarto, 34+38+38+40+29+32 double-sided leaves
There are 33 single & double page illustrations,
On note of condition, all 6 volumes are in very good condition. There is very little wear and minor creasing on the covers, with little to no worming present. There is very minor staining present though tout all volumes.