A beautiful rainy night view of Nissaka, one of the famed 53 stations along the Tokaido Road running from Edo to Kyoto during the Edo era. A mother carries her child on her back beneath an umbrella as she walks up a sloping street passed the shadowy buildings, some of whose windows are warmly lit. A dog sits in front of one of the houses at right, the yellow glow from a few lighted windows up ahead reflected on the watery road, but otherwise the scene is quiet as night descends, creating blue and gray shadows.
The Woodblock Print
This oban-sized woodblock is in excellent condition; incredibly strong colors and clean margins without any discolorations or blemishes on the front. 6mm Watanabe seal indicating a lifetime edition. Intact margins and a clean verso.
About the Artist
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) was born to a textile dealer as the first son. His uncle was Kanagaki Robun, a famous playwrite. A pupil of Kaburaki Kiyokata who gave him the go of “Hasui”. Afterwards, he got to know Watanabe Shozaburo, then had a chance to see “Omi Hakkei” created by Ito Shinsui from the same school as his, which brought about an interest in the woodblock printing. In 1918, he released three pieces of “Shiobara” from Watanabe Printshop, afterwards, produced a number of landscape prints throughout his life and is considered one of the greats of the Shin Hanga art movement in Japanese woodblock printing.
Notes when buying: Hasui woodblocks were printed and reprinted both during his lifetime and post-mortem. When evaluating a Hasui woodblock, it is important to look carefully at the publisher seal, which will give a rough approximation for when the print in question was published, which can then be compared to when that print was originally published. Learn more about recognizing Watanabe-published editions here.