Japanese Watercolours -- Watercolor Paintings
If you copy this bibliography, please reference the source: Ohmi Gallery!
Very little is known about the majority of the pre-war Japanese watercolour artists. It is generally accepted that the producers of early Japanese watercolours (from late Meiji to early Showa) studied the Western-style watercolour technique, with many artists also having a Western-style education. In most cases the artists signed their names in the usual Western way using Roman letters. Despite the fact that most were superbly talented artists, their paintings can be obtained very inexpensively at auction.

Artists represented here include R. Aoki, H. Fukaya, S. Hodo, S. Ishida (Shigeburo?), Yuhan Ito, Eika Kato, Kyoha, T. Masami, M. Matsu, Matsumoto, J. R. Ozawa, S. Niimi, H. Saito, Emiko Satsuta, K. Seki, T. Seki, Shuho, E. Terada, Fukutaro Terauchi, S. Tosuke, T. Tosuke, I. Yamanoi, T. E. Yanagiwara, Tasuke (G.T.) Yokouchi, A. Yoshida.

I have a small selection of watercolours available here.


Artists' Bibliography and Notes

Fukutaro Terauchi (born December 9th, 1891)
Very little is known about the artist Fukutaro Terauchi. Marc Kahn of Shotei.com in his article "Paintings by Terauchi, Masterpieces or Tourist Souvenirs?" speculated that Terauchi may be actually a group of artists who mass-produced watercolours for the tourist market. Later, I received an email from Fran Walker who owns an October 1963 Kyoto Hanga-In catalog, which contains two woodblock prints by the artist Fukutaro Terauchi (see my article on Kyoto Hanga-In catalogs here, and view page 27 of the 1963 catalog). One of these woodblock prints is shown below. Marc Kahn also received further independent information regarding Fukutaro Terauchi from a collector who purchased his paintings in the early 1970's. A Certificate of Authenticity included with these paintings states that Fukutaro Terauchi was born on December 9th, 1891. In 1910 he entered the private school of Kiyoteru Kuroda, and later became a member of the Hakuba Association. While we can speculate as to whether Terauchi was active pre-war or not, we can say with certainty that he was active in the 1960s and possibly the 1970s, although I have seen his death listed as having occurred in 1964. Do not confuse this artist with Terauchi Manjiro -- they are two different artists and their signatures are completely different. If you have a watercolour with a signature similar to those of the Terauchi paintings shown below, then your painting is not by Terauchi Manjiro.
December 2006: another collector states that she has a Terauchi watercolour purchased from Yamatoya Fine Art Gallery with original receipts stating a date of October 7, 1970.
June 2008: collector Laura Marino has a Terauchi painting in a frame that also contains a Japanese newspaper sheet dating to September 1958.
November 2011: Another collector, Pam, states "My grandparents purchased these two paintings on March 13, 1979. Both watercolors have original certificates of purchase on the back from the Yamatoya Fine Art Gallery in Miyanoshita, Hakone, Japan.

S. Hodo
Unfortunately I do not know much about S. Hodo. I suspect he might be Saito Hodo, and he may have also used the name Nishimura Hodo (and perhaps H. Saito too), but I need further research data before I can conclude anything. In any case, his paintings were often sold via the publisher Takemura Hideo, with an accompanying sticker containing the publisher's details on the verso.

S. Ishida
An owner of an S. Ishida watercolour writes that his Ishida watercolour was framed by "Henry Schultheis paintings and prints inc.". Henry was head of the business sometime after 1913 up until 1932, when his son took the business over. Thus we now have strong evidence that S. Ishida was a pre-war artist. However another S. Ishida owner writes "About a year ago I picked up a Japanese watercolour signed S. Ishida. It is curious because the picture appears well painted and not particularly recent but the card has green backing which looks more modern than I would have expected.", so S. Ishida may have also continued painting in the post-war period too.

E. Kato
The artist E. Kato may be Eizo Kato (1906-1972) or Eika Kato (1859-1942, born in Fukui Japan) -- most probably the latter. I've seen one painting dated 1911, so definitely a pre-war artist.

M. Matsu
Mark Terry of New York writes that his aunt purchased an M. Matsu watercolour while in Japan in 1936/37, along with some woodblock prints published by Takemura Hideo. My M. Matsu watercolours below have a Takemura publisher's stamp on the verso, and we know that Takemura was active in the second-half of the 1930s. Thus we can say with a high degree of confidence that M. Matsu was a pre-war artist.

S. Niimi
John Maddaus writes "My mother lived in Sendai from 1935-1938 and came home with some of his watercolor prints". Thus we can say with a high degree of confidence that S. Niimi was active pre-war.
I have seen the name Saburo Niimi attributed to this artist, but I cannot confirm.

Emiko Satsuta
Nicole Swain provided this important information on the artist we have long known as "Satsuta": "I have been given these watercolours from my Grandfather. Until a few years ago they were hidden in his draws. I understand they were given to him by the daughter of the Caretaker from one of the Embassies in Hong Kong Yokohama during World War 2. She was the artist". Included in Nicole's email were images of two Satsuta watercolours with the name "Emiko Satsuta" in both Japanese and English written clearly on the versos! What a wonderful discovery.

K. Seki
An owner of K. Seki watercolours writes that her grandmother bought two of his/her paintings in Japan between 1925 and 1932, so it would appear that K. Seki was certainly a pre-war artist.

S. Tosuke
The owner of an S. Tosuke painting writes that her grandmother Mrs Frederick Shedd was taken on a Thomas Cook world tour during 1921 and 1922. During this time she aquired several watercolours including "an S Tosuke, a G Yokouchi and two T E Yanagiwaras". This confirms S. Tosuke was active as early as 1922.

Yamanoi
An email from the USA mentions in part "He and my aunt traveled quite a bit through Japan in the 1930's. The (watercolour) is signed 'Yamanoi' in the right hand bottom of the picture.". Another collector writes: "I recently received a watercolor signed by Yamanoi that dates back to a trip my grandfather made between 1920-1930.". So it would appear that Yamanoi was indeed active in the pre-war period.

T. E. Yanagiwara
A note on the back of my Yanagiwara watercolour states "Presented to Mrs Frederick Shedd on May 5th 1922", so it would appear that T. E. Yanagiwara was definitely a pre-war artist.

Tasuke (G.T.) Yokouchi
Tasuke Yokouchi (also known as GT Yokouchi), was an artist of renown talent who was active during the early part of the 20th century. He is probably the same artist as Ginnosuke Yokouchi (1870-1942), and, unknown to most collectors, he also self-published some striking limited-edition shin-hanga woodblock prints too (see a thorough biography of Yokouchi's woodblock print production at Hanga Gallery). As mentioned above, the owner of a G. Yokouchi painting writes that her grandmother Mrs Frederick Shedd was taken on a Thomas Cook world tour during 1921 and 1922. During this time she acquired several watercolours including "an S Tosuke, a G Yokouchi and two T E Yanagiwaras". This confirms G. Yokouchi was active as early as 1922.

A. Yoshida
Not much is known about this artist. He/she was an accomplished artist most likely active in the pre-war period. A. Yoshida was not the famous woodblock print artist Hiroshi Yoshida! Please be careful of sellers trying to flog off their A. Yoshida watercolours as being by Hiroshi Yoshida. How can we discriminate between A. Yoshida and H. Yoshida watercolours? That is a good question, and I am currently writing a research article on this very subject. As a simple check, if your painting has all three of the following characteristics:

  • the first initial looks in-between an H and an A,
  • the first initial and the "H" in YOSHIDA look quite different, and
  • the surname YOSHIDA is written in capital letters only (not mixed upper/lower case)
then you have with little doubt an A. Yoshida watercolour.


Gallery of my Japanese Watercolours
Ishida S - Farm by Stream and Bamboo Grove Satsuta Emiko - Ships in Harbour Near Mount Fuji Kato Eika - Evening Riverside Market Scene Yanagiwara T E - Sailboat in Lake Near Mt. Fuji
Ishida Sigesaburo
Farm by Stream and Bamboo Grove
1930s/40s


Satsuta Emiko
Ships in Harbour Near Mount Fuji
1930s/40s


Kato Eika
Evening Riverside Market Scene
1930s/40s


Yanagiwara T E
Sailboat in Lake Near Mt. Fuji
1922 May 5


Ito Yuhan - Rainy street scene in spring Ito Yuhan - Countryside in Sunlit Haze Matsumoto Y - Sailboats on Lake by Mt Fuji Kawashima Minoru - The Village, Kyoto
Ito Yuhan
Rainy street scene in spring
1930s



Ito Yuhan
Countryside in Sunlit Haze
1930s

Matsumoto Y
Sailboats on Lake by Mt Fuji
1920s/30s


Kawashima Minoru
The Village, Kyoto
1940s/50s

Mt Fuji and River Flowing River in Valley Forest Aoki R - Boat Ride On River Aoki - Boats On Lake Near Fuji
Yamanoi
Mt Fuji and River

Yamanoi, I.
Flowing River in Valley Forest


Aoki R
Boat Ride On River
1920s/30s


Aoki
Boats On Lake Near Fuji
1920s/30s


Shuho - Sailboats Under Moonlight Hodo S - Pilgrim In Snow Satta - Riverside Village in Spring Uehara - Cottage by River Waterfall
Shuho
Sailboats Under Moonlight
1920s/30s


Hodo S
Pilgrim In Snow
1930s


Satta
Riverside Village in Spring
1940s


Uehara
Cottage by River Waterfall
1940s

Masami T - Miyajima At Low Tide Masami T - Fishermen Returning Masami T - Mt. Fuji and Mountain Pass Yoha K - Sailboats At Sea
Masami T
Miyajima At Low Tide
1910s/20s/30s


Masami T
Fishermen Returning
1910s/20s/30s


Masami T
Mt. Fuji and Mountain Pass
1910s/20s/30s


Yoha K
Sailboats At Sea
1930s/40s


Yokouchi Tasuke - Night Fishing Kondo - River Stream in Full Autumn Kondo - Fuji in Full Spring Yokouchi Tasuke - Departing Fisherman by Fuji
Yokouchi Tasuke (Ginnosuke, G.T.)
Night Fishing
1910s/20s


Kondo
River Stream in Full Autumn
1940s

Kondo
Fuji in Full Spring
1940s

Yokouchi Tasuke
Departing Fisherman by Fuji
1940s

Terada E - Early Morning Beach Scene Yoshida A - Hut by Stream in Autumn Yokouchi Tasuke - Pine Forest at Miho Kenyu T - Boat on Lake in Autumn
Terada E
Early Morning Beach Scene
1920S/30S

Yoshida A
Hut by Stream in Autumn
1920S/30S

Yokouchi Tasuke
Pine Forest at Miho
1920s/30s


Kenyu T
Boat on Lake in Autumn
1920s/30s

Yokouchi Tasuke - Village by Lake in Early Morning Ozawa J R - Fishing Boats on Snowy Beach Matsuda - Country Farm in Autumn Yoshida A - Sailboats on Lake by Mt Fuji
Yokouchi Tasuke
Village by Lake in Early Morning
1920s/30s


Ozawa J R
Fishing Boats on Snowy Beach
1920s/30s

Matsuda
Country Farm in Autumn
1930s/40s

Yoshida A
Sailboats on Lake by Mt Fuji
1930s

Kobayashi Tokusaburo - Autumn Tints Satta - Miyajima Torii and Sailboats Ito Yuhan - Torii Gate in Bamboo Grove Hiroshi - Boat on Lake by Mt Fuji
Kobayashi Tokusaburo
Autumn Tints
1910s/20s

Satta
Miyajima Torii and Sailboats
1920s/30s


Ito Yuhan
Torii Gate in Bamboo Grove
1920s/30s


Hiroshi
Boat on Lake by Mt Fuji
1900s


Kason R - Misty Lake Scene
Kason R
Misty Lake Scene
1900s


H. Fukaya
Fukaya H - Mt Fuji and Spring Cherry Coastal View At Sunrise Flowing River
Fukaya H
Mt Fuji and Spring Cherry
1930s/40s

Fukaya H
Coastal View At Sunrise
1930s/40s

Fukaya H
Flowing River
1930s/40s

M. Matsu
Matsu M - Evening Urban Street Scene - Bijin and Red Lantern Matsu M - Evening Urban Street Scene - Bijin and Rickshaw Matsu M - Urban Evening View of a Bijin Holding a Parasol Matsu M - Evening View of a House on a Lake
Matsu M
Evening Urban Street Scene - Bijin and Red Lantern
1930s/40s


Matsu M
Evening Urban Street Scene - Bijin and Rickshaw
1930s/40s


Matsu M
Urban Evening View of a Bijin Holding a Parasol
1930s/40s


Matsu M
Evening View of a House on a Lake
1930s/40s


S. Nimi
Niimi S - Yaizu-no-hara Niimi S - Mt Fuji In Snow Niimi S - Pagoda by Rriver in Spring Niimi S - Torii By Lake In Autumn
Niimi S
Yaizu-no-hara
1930s/40s


Niimi S
Mt Fuji In Snow
1920s/30s/40s


Niimi S
Pagoda by Rriver in Spring
1930s/40s


Niimi S
Torii By Lake In Autumn
1930s/40s


Niimi - Kegon Waterfall, Nikko Niimi S - Mt Fuji and Sailboats on Lake
Niimi
Kegon Waterfall, Nikko
1930s/40s


Niimi S
Mt Fuji and Sailboats on Lake
1930s/40s

H. Saito
Saito Hodo - Bijin in a Garden with Iris Saito Hodo - Bijin in a Japanese Garden Saito Hodo - Bijin Doing Ikebana
Saito Hodo
Bijin in a Garden with Iris
1930s


Saito Hodo
Bijin in a Japanese Garden
1930s


Saito Hodo
Bijin Doing Ikebana
1930s


K. Seki and T. Seki
Seki K - Japanese Garden Seki T - Misty Moonlit Night, Farmhouse by River Seki K - Cyprus Pines By Mt Fuji Lake Farm By Flowing Stream
Seki K
Japanese Garden
1920s/30s

Seki T
Misty Moonlit Night, Farmhouse by River
1930s/40s


Seki K
Cyprus Pines By Mt Fuji Lake
1930s/40s


Seki K
Farm By Flowing Stream
1920s/30s

Seki K - Country Farm by Stream in Autumn Seki K - Cherry Tyrees by Riverside Hut Seki K - Boatman on Mt Fuji Stream Seki K - Country Life Under Mt Fuji
Seki K
Country Farm by Stream in Autumn
1930s/40s

Seki K
Cherry Tyrees by Riverside Hut
1930s/40s

Seki K
Boatman on Mt Fuji Stream
1930s/40s

Seki K
Country Life Under Mt Fuji
1930s/40s


Terauchi
Terauchi Fukutaro - Night Rain Under Willows Terauchi Fukutaro - Spring at the Farm Terauchi Fukutaro - Pagoda In Spring Terauchi Fukutaro - Two Storey Pagoda In Spring
Terauchi Fukutaro
Night Rain Under Willows
1940s/50s/60s


Terauchi Fukutaro
Spring at the Farm
1940s/50s/60s


Terauchi Fukutaro
Pagoda In Spring
1940s/50s/60s


Terauchi Fukutaro
Two Storey Pagoda In Spring
1940s/50s/60s


Terauchi Fukutaro - Winter Evening Town Scene Terauchi Fukutaro - Sailing Boat
Terauchi Fukutaro
Winter Evening Town Scene
1940s/50s/60s


Terauchi Fukutaro
Sailing Boat
1960s


S. Tosuke and T. Tosuke
Tosuke S - Valley Town By Mt Fuji In Winter (A) Tosuke S - Valley Town By Mt Fuji In Winter (B) Tosuke S - Village By Lake In Winter Tosuke S - Sailboats on a Lake by Mt Fuji
Tosuke S
Valley Town By Mt Fuji In Winter (A)
1910s/20s/30s


Tosuke S
Valley Town By Mt Fuji In Winter (B)
1910s/20s/30s


Tosuke S
Village By Lake In Winter
1910s/20s/30s


Tosuke S
Sailboats on a Lake by Mt Fuji
1910s/20s/30s


Tosuke S - Hut By River In Bamboo Grove Tosuke S - Pagoda on a Rainy Night Tosuke S - Village by Mt Fuji at Dawn Tosuke S - Shrine Entrance in a Snowstorm
Tosuke S
Hut By River In Bamboo Grove
1923/24

Tosuke S
Pagoda on a Rainy Night
1920s/30s


Tosuke S
Village by Mt Fuji at Dawn
1920s/30s


Tosuke S
Shrine Entrance in a Snowstorm
1920s/30s


Tosuke T - Cyprus Pines Tosuke T - Mt. Fuji and River Through Valley
Tosuke T
Cyprus Pines
1910s/20s/30s


Tosuke T
Mt. Fuji and River Through Valley
1910s/20s/30s


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©Dr Ross F. Walker.