Artwork Details for Koitsu, Tsuchiya (1870-1949) "Jurojin - God of Wisdom and Longevity"

Koitsu, Tsuchiya (1870-1949) - Jurojin - God of Wisdom and Longevity

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Jurojin - God of Wisdom and Longevity
by Koitsu, Tsuchiya (1870-1949) - 土屋光逸

Artist:Koitsu, Tsuchiya (1870-1949) - 土屋光逸
Title:Jurojin - God of Wisdom and Longevity
Medium:Scroll/Makuri roll - 掛軸ーまくり
Format:Long scroll - 掛軸, 37 x 130cm (image size)
Artwork Code:11364-Tsuchiya_Koitsu
Notes:Extremely rare. This is the first Koitsu scroll that I have seen in "real life". Hand painted on silk. Mounting is 203 x 50cm. The signature reads as "光逸謹寫" (humbly drawn by Koitsu) and the red seal reads "書意 不●形"?.

The god of wisdom, Jurojin 寿老人 is a deity from China's Taoist pantheon. Described as a Chinese Taoist sennin 仙人 (immortal), Jurojin is also a personification of the southern polar star. Described in legends as a great lover of wine and fond of female company. Often depicted as an old man with a long white beard carrying a knobbly staff with a scroll tied to it, on which is written the life span of all living things or, in other accounts, a record of all the good and bad deeds committed by all beings, or the book of knowledge. The deer, a symbol of longevity, commonly accompanies him as a messenger, as do other long-lived animals such as the stag, crane, or tortoise.

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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