Shoda Koho – Crane and Chicks
A heron feeding its chicks in a nest, high up in a tree branch.
Pillar prints, or ko-tanzaku, are a format that creates beautiful challenges for the artist and their compositions. In this print Shoda Koho utilizes the 3" wide by 13" tall format to capture a scene of a Japanese crane (or Manchurian crane) feeding its chicks in a nest, high up in a tree branch. This print is Hasegawa Catalog Number 1608 from the series "Japanese Scenes on Tanzaku".
Vertical, narrow prints are a by-product of traditional Japanese architecture, which offered very few solid wall surfaces. Many times, the only solid surface available for the hanging of pictures, were the structural posts which held up the roof. "Pillar prints" became a genre unto themselves and were referred to in Japanese as hashira-e or tanzaku.
The Woodblock Print
This print is in very good condition with strong color, no fading, discoloration, or foxing to be seen. The print is minus its margins, but that is typical for prints within this series. Some reside from tipping to a mat is left on the top edges of the verso.
Koho Shoda (ca. 1871-1946) was a Japanese artist associated with the shin-hanga (“New Prints”) art movement in Japan during the early 20th century. This movement was influenced by European Impressionism and its imagery focused on landscapes, women, and nature.