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Publisher: Yamadaya Shōbei (山田屋庄兵衛)

Alternate names:
Kinkyōdō (firm name - 錦橋堂)
Yamashō (seal name - 山庄)

Lifetime: circa 1789 - 1851

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Biography:

Edo print publisher (Marks 585). Artists published by this house include Eisen, Eizan, Hiroshige, Kunimaro, Kunimaru, Kunisada, Kunisada II, Kuniteru, Kuniyasu, Sadahide, Shunchō, Shunkō, Yoshitora and Yoshitsuya.

Eizan is the only artist in the Lyon Collection who was published by this house. We have highlighted his name in bold type.

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"As early as 1789, the publisher Yamadaya Shōbei issued woodblock prints, e.g. by Shunkō I. However, until the 1810s these first works are extremely rare to find. Publishing prints seems to have not been the main business as the few actor prints and beauty series from the 1810s and 1820s attest.... The business started to do better in the late 1830s with landscape prints by Hiroshige. They were followed by a high number of books, predominantly illustrated by Kunisada and later Yoshitora. These books became Yamadaya's stronghold and from the late 1840s until the early 1860s, he [sic] issued at least five different volumes per year.

In later editions of Hiroshige's so-called "Cursive Script Tokaidō" ("Gyōsho Tokaidō") is dated to c. 1850-51. In late 1851, a change in leadership of the business caused a name change and Yamada Shōbei became Yamada Shōjirō, continuing however to use the same publisher seals. This name change was announced in books published during that time. In 1851, he [sic] is listed as a member of the New Faction (Karigumi) of Picture Book and Print Publishers Guild (Jihon toiya). He [sic] was then doing so well that he [sic] was able to take over Tsutaya Juzaburō's business in the fourth month of 1852."

This is from Japanese Woodblock Prints: Artists, Publishers and Masterworks 1680-1900 (p. 300) by Andreas Marks.