5 volumes (all published), containing very brief introductory text followed by altogether 500 plates, each consisting of a color woodcut caricature accompanied by textual commentary in a combination of letterpress and woodcut calligraphy, offering a bitter and ironic look at the politics and social scene of the World War I era, both in Japan and around the world. Some marginal staining in one volume. 4to. Each volume dec. boards, tie-bound in the Japanese manner, housed in individual boards portfolio. Tokyo (Kokusai Shuppansha) 1920-1921.
A fascinating work, with brilliant drawings by Ito, who was also a prominent architect and scholar responsible for numerous important books on Japanese architectural history. The "ashuras" of the title refer to the warrior gods of Indian religion condemned to constant strife. Through caricature and innuendo, and using the Indian gods as stand-ins for prominent figures, Ito skewers the political scene of the day and presents an anti-war perspective in reaction to the international horrors of the First World War. Book ID: 45787