Shinkyo, the Sacred Bridge at Nikko, is the entrance to Futarasan Shrine. It was rebuilt in today’s shape with its red lacquered paint in 1636 by the third Tokugawa shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu (1603 – 51). The construction 1636 replaced a bridge construction from 808. In 1902 it was completely washed away by a flood and reconstructed from ground. Shinkyo is supported by stone pillars.
The Woodblock Print
This piece has incredible color but minor flaws. There are two small stapler holes on the right border, and creases from where the margins were folded under in order for it to be framed by a previous owner. Some wrinkles in the image area itself, but none noticable (see the scanned image).
Tsuchiya Koitsu is a well-known artist of the Shin Hanga movement, but not among the trendy names like Hasui. As with many shin hanga artists, Tsuchiya Koitsu specialized in landscape images.
Born in 1879 in rural Japan with the given name Koichi. He became a student of the ukiyo-e master Kiyochika Kobayashi (1847-1915) after starting an apprenticeship for a woodblock carver who worked for Kobayashi. Soon the ukiyo-e master himself took care of the young Koitsu, where he stayed and worked for 19 years in the home of his master. From 1931 on, Tsuchiya Koitsu became one of the artists working for the publisher Watanabe in the shin hanga style. His style is reminiscent of the works of his master Kobayashi and of the famous shin hanga artists Kawase Hasui and Hiroshi Yoshida. In typical shin hanga style Tsuchiya Koitsu intensively used the effects of light to create moods and emotions in his images.