Shoda Koho – Unknown I
Pillar prints, or ko-tanzaku, are a format that creates beautiful challenges for the artist and their compositions. A variation on this is the "vertical koban", measuring approximately 3" by 9", half a koban, by division along its long axis. In this print Shoda Koho utilizes the format to convey the sense of commerce happening, half above the river on the bridge, half on the river under the bridge. This piece is not part of the "Japanese Scenes on Tanzaku", is a different size than the series, and seems to be quite rare and possibly undocumented.
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
Dimensions: 3.5" x 8"
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 these style prints. 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.