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Ohara Koson – Peacock and Cherry Blossom


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SKU: MLS2022162 Category: Tag:

This beautiful little print by Ohara Koson, marked with the Shōson seal, packs a ton of color into its small 8.4 x 13.1 cm size. Published by Watanabe with catalog number 427 in the 1930s, it was part of a number of these small gems designed by Koson. In my opinion it is a minor miracle that these little gems survived as it would be easy to ignore them in favor of the larger prints which were framed and cared for.

The Woodblock Print

This yatsugiri-ban woodblock is in excellent condition. Strong, vibrant color, clean and sharp edges and margins, and a clean verso. Made In Japan stamp on the lower edge of the verso. A beautiful copy of this print.

About the Artist

Ohara Koson (小原古邨, 1877-1945), who also went by the art names of Hoson and Shoson, began his career as the student of Suzuki Koson where he painted plants and animals between 1895-1902 gradually becoming known as a Nihonga painter (a term meaning traditional Japanese vs the increasingly popular Western style) in the Kacho-ga (nature print) genre. Briefly during the Russo-Japanese war Koson produced Senso-e (war prints), but the vast majority of his early prints (1900 -1912) were nature prints designed for the North American and European markets for the publishers Kokkeido and Daikokuya. These prints were all signed “Koson”. Between 1912-1926 Koson returned to painting, but using the name Shoson, he continued to design woodblock prints, this time in collaboration with S. Watanabe. Koson also produced prints using the name Hoson which were published by Kawaguchi between 1930-1931.

While the artists’ prints had always been sold abroad, Koson’s success was cemented as a result of the 1930 and 1936 Toledo Museum exhibitions. More prints by Koson were sold during these shows than any other artists’ due to their artistic merit and their relatively inexpensiveness in comparison with of the works of Yoshida, Shinsui, Hasui and others. Koson’s career peaked in the mid 1930’s. His work is realistic, based mainly on his own sketches and watercolors. It is estimated that he produced more than 450 designs of birds.


Koson, Ohara


(A+) Excellent Condition








Watanabe Shozaburo


Yatsugiri-ban (3.75"x5")


Birds / Beasts, Plants & Flowers

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