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Kōno Bairei Birds Books

Kōno Bairei (幸野楳嶺) (1844-1895), was one of the leading practitioners of the ukiyo-e (浮世絵) genre devoted to pictures of flowers ad birds, or kachō-ga (花鳥画) in the Meiji period. Bairei's Album of 100 Birds (Bairei Hyakuchō Gafu 楳嶺百鳥画譜, 1881) and a supplement (Bairei Hyakuchō Gafu Zokuhen 楳嶺百鳥画譜続編, 1884) have been called ..perhaps the best illustrations of bird-life ever cut on wood.  Both of these works consisted of 3 volumes each, named Sky (Ten ), Earth (Chi ) and People (Hito ).   The woodblock prints are wonderfully detailed, picturing various birds in their natural environment, including among flowers, in trees and chasing insects.  Pages are folded leaves, with plates on each leaf.  Most are single page plates, and a number which span adjoining pages.  Each bird is identified and each page has the artists seal. 43 illustrated pages in BHG, and 44 illustrated pages in BHGZ.

On offer here are the two Sky () volumes. Both books are tightly bound, with all pages intact, and in very good - excellent condition.  I believe the bindings are original in the Zokuhen volume, but possibly rebound in the earlier book. Minor age related darkening / staining to the covers; minor cracking in the corner of BHG volume; glue separation of inside print pages from the cover (common with these books).

Images presented below are details of select pages from both books, not the full page images.

Measurements: 24.8 x 16.6cm

Meiji Period (明治時代)


Kono Bairei BHGKono Bairei Book BHGZ







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