Shoda Koho – Moonlit Sea (sepia, early edition with clouds)


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Koho, Shoda


(A) Very Fine Condition




Hasegawa, Nishinomiya


Early Edition


Chuban (7"x10")


Boats, Fishing, Night, Solitude

One of the quietest and most pensive of Hasegawa’s Night Scenes Series, and one of my favorites (named the company for it). A lonely fishing boat plies the water on a calm, cloudless, full-moon evening. The viewer is on the shore, taking in the scene behind some river reeds.

The Woodblock Print

This is an early edition chuban printing of Moonlit Sea judging by the paper, lack of margins, and “Made in Japan” stamp on the verso. It is in very good condition with minor issues being the edge wear in the upper left corner and minor lightening near the edges of the print. Rich color and striking detail.

This is a rare print; it is in the much more limited sepia tone, but also has the clouds in the sky which were only used in what we believe was the first printing; the cloud block was not used in later printings and is scarcely seen.

About the Artist

Shoda Koho (庄田耕峯, ca. 1871-1946) was a Japanese artist associated with the shin-hanga (“New Prints”) art movement in Japan during the early 20th century. This movement was influenced by European Impressionism and its imagery focused on landscapes, women, and nature.

Kan Shoda (also sometimes identified as Hiroshima Koho), was born in Kanda, Tokyo as the second son of Yasushi Shoda.  After graduating from school be became a student of Ogata Gekko to study historical portraits and bijin-ga, and entered the Chuo Shimbun to draw illustrations. The third prize was given at the “Ningyo Maizu” exhibited at the 4th Painting Co-Promotion Society of the Japan Youth Painting Association held in 1895, and the 2nd painting of the Japan Painting Association in 1897.

Shoda Koho’s entire body of work seems to have been done for Hasegawa/Nishinomiya Publishing and ranged from standalone prints, illustrations that were done for various books and calendars, and series such as in the Hasegawa’s Night Scenes series) and the series “Japanese Scenes on Tanzaku“.

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