A quiet view of the famous torii gates at Miyajima during an evening shower. Two stone lanterns frame the view, flames flicker in them, and a small deer (visible in the silhouette) pauses at the water’s edge for a drink. Across the water, on the far shore, a glowing window is reflected in the water’s surface as the third warm spot in the print. Beautiful atmospheric scene with soft bokashi shading and wonderful handling of the raindrops.
The Woodblock Print
Based on research, this seems to be an early (first) edition post-war printing of Rain in Miyajima in the dai-oban size. The print is in excellent condition with strong colors, fine details (many lost in later printings), and no discolorations. A clean verso with only a few tiny spots of residue from tipping. Full intact margins, delicate bokashi shading.
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.