Kokka Internet Note
The Kokka Magazine is a monthly periodical which has continued, with some breaks, from 1889 to the present. Each issue of the Kokka holds its own fascination as a work of art, with its distinctive cover and binding, its fine illustrations and its sense of continuity. The magazine provides an opportunity to study the changing nature of scholarship over the last century. Furthermore, the provenance of Chinese and Japanese paintings and other artworks, originally in private Japanese collections, can be traced from the many illustrations contained within the series. This collection of 662 issues from 1889 to 1988 includes those from the first decade of its publication.
Each issue has a number of articles, mostly by Japanese scholars, on Oriental art, history and architecture, with a strong emphasis on Buddhist art. Later issues have one or more chief articles together with short texts on a variety of subjects generally linked to the artworks illustrated in the plates. Occasionally a special issue is published on a single topic, to which all of the articles and plates within relate: in this collection there are 24 of these, each called a 'Special number'.
All issues of the Kokka were published and printed in Tokyo by Kokkasha. They include two types of binding: ribbon-tied and stitch-bound. The magazine mostly opens from right to left, with exceptions. For a time an English parallel or near-parallel edition was printed in Western format, opening from left to right, and stitch-bound with gilt-edges. In this collection there are 103 of these full English issues from 1905 to 1918. In some volumes in this collection the Japanese and full English editions alternate.
The coloured cover designs are maintained through the twelve issues of a volume, which may span two calendar years. The exception to this is the English edition which retains the same cover design, although the ground colour changes for some volumes.
All Japanese issues contain a Japanese contents list for articles and plates. A French contents list is included in the English edition from 1908 to 1918. An English contents list is included in most Japanese issues after 1903.
Printed pagination is in Japanese numerals, and is sequential within the twelve issues of a volume between 1890 and 1962. Both sides of the plates were counted in the Japanese pagination by Kokka editors although the plates have no printed numerals. Pages containing the contents list and publisher details have been added to the pagination total for each issue in this collation.
From its inception in 1889 to shortly after World War II, most issues of the Kokka contain one or more original woodcuts, either bound in or tipped in. They are gradually phased out and the last woodcut in this chronological collection of the Kokka is in issue 964 (1973). Tissue interleaves are bound in adjacent to all plates, both woodcuts and collotypes, until 1905. After this they are bound in only with colour plates, woodcut or otherwise, and at this time printed text captions are added onto the interleaves.
This image is taken from item 3105
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