Mitsuhama is one of the few places in Japan where you can still see buildings dating from the Edo, Meiji, Taisho and Showa periods in a single area, and most of these buildings are also still in use, as homes or shops and restaurants. As a gateway to the Seto Inland Sea, Mitsuhama is active as a port, and the dockside is full of boats and cranes, some of which are elegant vintage models. The other title for this piece is interesting; “West Izu, Mitsunohama”. Is it possible to see Mt Fuji so large in a composition from a point on West Izu peninsula? Some day I’ll need to verify this.
The Woodblock Print
Also known by the title “West Izu, Mitsunohama”, this is a post-war version of the print with full margins published by Doi Hangaten. This print has full clean margins, a clean verso, bright/rich colors and no signs of discoloration. A watermark is visible in the upper margin.
About the Artist
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.