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Tōkaidō - An artist's journey to Hiroshige's Japan


The Tōkaidō, the road that connected Edo (now Tōkyō) to Kyōto, winds through central Japan for almost 500 kilometers. Of this historic itinerary, still alive in the memory of the Japanese thanks to the work of Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), traces have largely been lost, suffocated by the urban landscape. Philippe Delord, armed only with paper and watercolours, retraced the 53 stages aboard a scooter, immortalising those places as they appear today in the drawings made day by day. An exciting travel notebook, halfway between diary and reportage.

The reader will be able to follow him on this journey, finding himself in a world suspended between past and present, where the fabulous images of the Edo period merge with the realities of contemporary Japan.
Delord's tables, accompanied by texts rich in information and often animated by lively and entertaining comments, are assembled in the manner of a travel diary, echoing the Japanese tradition of meishozue, the illustrated guides to famous places that were very popular in the Edo era .

Reasons of interest:

  • From Tokyo to Mount Fuji, from mountain passes to rugged coastlines along the most important communication route of ancient Japan!
  • All 53 original Hiroshige prints presented alongside their modern "equivalent", in Delord's reconstructions
  • Texts that with great wit and sagacity recount the author's laborious attempts to locate each of the 53 stations
  • An in-depth and often humorous look at historical and contemporary Japan
  • Halfway between a travel diary and an art book, this book will fascinate travel lovers, history and Japanese print enthusiasts, as well as all Japan enthusiasts.

Format: 265 × 230 mm
Number of pages: 160
ISBN: 9782889750184
October 10, 2022

PHILIPPE DELORD, French painter and illustrator, lives in the Loire Valley. He created the drawings contained in this volume between 2014 and 2016. For this encounter with Japan I deliberately limited his movements within the country to the historical route, letting himself be guided by the path of the ancient wayfarers.

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