A beautiful spring scene with the tower of Nagoya Castle rising up into the sky. Clouds of delicate pink and lavender cherry blossoms fill the foreground, and the sky is shaded a rosy lilac color along the horizon as the sun sets.
Nagoya Castle was constructed by the Owari Domain in 1612 during the Edo period on the site of an earlier castle of the Oda clan in the Sengoku period. Nagoya Castle was the heart of one of the most important castle towns in Japan, Nagoya-juku, a post station on the Minoji road linking two of the important Edo Five Routes, the Tōkaidō and the Nakasendō.
The Woodblock Print
This “large oban”-sized woodblock is in good to very good condition, the primary defect to the print is some discoloration in the right side in the trees section of the right side due to some mattburn. There is discoloration from tape in the margins and some on the verso. With that minor exception, the print is in very good condition with stunning color, clean margins, and a clean verso.
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.