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Itō Shinsui – Autumn by Lake Mojiri, from the series Ten Sights of Shinano


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SKU: MLS2022233 Category: Tag:

Itō Shinsui is most famous for his bijin-ga prints (beautiful women), but his landscapes are equally beautiful. While Shinsui designed a few dozen landscape woodblock prints and published through Watanabe, the series “Ten Views of Shinano” offers a unique perspective. Towards the late phase of the Pacific war, when the strategic bombardments of Japan’s cities began in June 1944 by the US forces, Ito Shinsui was evacuated into the countryside and came to Komoro in Nagano Prefecture. It is at this time that he made his designs for the series Shinano Jukei, or “Ten Sights of Shinano”. These designs were published by Watanabe after the war in 1948. At this time we can only find instances of five of the ten designs.

A commemorative edition was printed in 1997 by Watanabe from the original blocks for the 100th birthday of Shinsui with an edition size specified as 195 (small edition and we’re unable to find any copies of these recently sold). This commemorative edition bears the Heisei publishing stamp of the Watanabe print shop.

The print presented here, however, is from the original edition (no Heisei stamp).

The Woodblock Print

This oban-sized woodblock is in excellent condition; rich color without any discolorations, clean margins, a clean verso. Visible woodgrain in the sky. 6mm Watanabe seal in the lower right corner of the image denoting the 1946-1957 timeframe (first edition).

About the Artist

Itō Shinsui (伊東 深水, February 1898 – 8 May 1972) was the pseudonym of  Nihonga painter and ukiyo-e woodblock print artist, and one of the great names of the shin-hanga art movement.

Itō was born in the Fukagawa district of Tokyo. After unwise investments bankrupted his father’s business, he was forced to drop out of elementary school in the third grade and became a live-in apprentice at a printing shop. It was in this manner that he became interested in printing techniques and also in the arts, later becoming a student of Kiyokata Kaburagi. When he was 17 years old he was admitted to exhibit at the Bunten exhibition. Ito was approached by the publisher Watanabe to design prints for him (like fellow artists Kawase Hasui and Shiro Kasamatsu). The collaboration between the two men lasted for several decades until 1960. In 1952 his art was declared an “Intangible Living Treasure”, one of the highest official awards an artist could receive, and in 1970 the artist was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun.


Shinsui, Ito


(A+) Excellent Condition




First Edition, Lifetime




Watanabe Shozaburo


Oban (10"x15")



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