Artwork Details for Koitsu, Tsuchiya (1870-1949) "Ueno Park"


Koitsu, Tsuchiya (1870-1949) - Ueno Park - 上野公園

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Ueno Park - 上野公園
by Koitsu, Tsuchiya (1870-1949) - 土屋光逸

Artist:Koitsu, Tsuchiya (1870-1949) - 土屋光逸
Title:Ueno Park - 上野公園
Series:Sketches of Famous Places In Japan
Date:1939 April (this item: Posthumous strike)
Publisher:Hamamatsu-Do (Doi Hangaten)
Medium:Woodblock - 木版画
Format:Large Oban - 大大判, 25.8 x39.4cm (image size)
Artwork Code:10230-Tsuchiya_Koitsu
Notes:This print is from a limited edition series entitled "Sketches of Famous Places In Japan" of famous shin-hanga landscape masterworks from the artists Hasui and Koitsu, printed by the publisher Hamamatsu-Do (Doi), and also distributed by O-Edo Mokuhansha. In the early 1960's Hamamatsu-Do re-released this fine limited edition set of shin-hanga landscape prints. 28 scenes were chosen and the publisher printed 200 complete sets of 28 prints each. It is possible that later editions carrying the Hamamatsu-Do publisher seal also exist.


A strike of this print containing a Doi Sadaichi publisher seal has not been observed. It was most likely first published by Doi Eiichi after the war (see Appendix E on page 321 of the Koitsu Raisonne for further discussion). Further evidence that this print was first published post-war is the fact that this scene is a mirror image of the print "Evening Cherry Blossoms at the Edge of Sarusawa Pond" published in April 1936 by Doi Sadaichi (see here). Being a fastidious type, we doubt that Sadaichi would publisher essentially the same scene twice, especially as a mirror image.

This artwork is from my personal collection and is not for sale.

Artist Biography:
Born in 1870 near Hamamatsu City (Shizuoka Prefecture) with the name "Sahei", Koitsu moved to Tokyo at the age of fifteen. He had planned to apprentice with Matsuzaki, a carver for the artist Kobayashi Kiyochika, but instead, he became Kiyochika's apprentice and moved into his home to study art and print design. It is through Kiyochika that Koitsu gained his trademark skill in the subtle use of light and shadow for his landscape prints. Koitsu lived with Kiyochika for 19 years and was considered more a member of Kiyochika's family than an apprentice. He worked and studying with Kiyochika until around Meiji 36 (1903). In Taisho 11 (1922) he moved to his wife's place of birth in Chigasaki City and lived there until his death. Although Koitsu first designed woodblock prints during the Sino-Japanese war (1894-1895), and later worked as a lithographer (around 1897 to 1905), he only really became a successful artist after his chance-meeting with Watanabe Shozaburo, the founder of the shin hanga print movement, at an exhibition of Kiyochika's works in 1931 that marked the anniversary of Kiyochika's death. In 1932 he started to produce landscape prints in the shin hanga style for Watanabe, the first being titled 'Cherry Blossom Viewing at Gion', and he went on to design a total of ten prints for Watanabe. He later designed prints for various publishers including Doi Sadaichi (known incorrectly in the West as Doi Teiichi), and a few prints for Kawaguchi, the Kyoto publisher Baba Nobuhiko, the publisher Tanaka Shobido, and the publisher Takemura. Around the same time that Tsuchiya Koitsu began his shin hanga career, another artist by the name of Ishiwata Koitsu was also pursuing a career as a shin-hanga landscape artist. Despite sharing the same given name "Koitsu", the two men were not related. Their works are sometimes confused since both artists signed their works "Koitsu". However, the styles of their woodblock prints are quite distinctive, as are their seals.
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