A rare pre-war Koitsu print published by Baba Nobuhiko, a classic landscape scene of the pine grove beach at Miho capturing all of the elements of Mt Fuji, a fishing boat, the ocean, sail boats, and a solitary figure walking along the beach. As all of Baba Nobuhiko’s blocks were destroyed during World War II and not recarved, this is a rare print with very few examples existing, let alone in this condition.
Miho-no-Matsubara Pine Grove is a seven-kilometer stretch of coastline lined with 54,000 pine trees. Legend says an angel hung her hagoromo, a special celestial kimono, on one of the trees while she went for a swim. A local fisherman found the garment and held it for ransom in the form of a dance.
The Woodblock Print
This oban-sized woodblock is in excellent condition. There are no noticeable flaws in color or paper. Clean and intact margins, a clean verso. A deckled edge on the right side of the sheet, and a publisher watermark in the top right corner.
About the Artist
Tsuchiya Koitsu is a well-known artist of the Shin Hanga movement who specialized almost exclusively 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.