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Yoshimoto Gesso – Rooster and a Hen


A scene of a rooster sitting on the stairs to the chicken coop, a hen sitting higher on on a ledge in a nest

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Pillar prints, or ko-tanzaku, are a format that creates beautiful challenges for the artist and their compositions. In this print Yoshimoto Gesso utilizes the 3″ wide by 13″ tall format to capture a scene of a rooster sitting on the stairs to the chicken coop, a hen sitting higher on on a ledge in a nest. This print is Hasegawa Catalog Number 1587 from the series “Japanese Scenes on Tanzaku“.

The Composition

Vertical, narrow prints are a by-product of traditional Japanese architecture, which offered very few solid wall surfaces. Many times, the only solid surface available for the hanging of pictures, were the structural posts which held up the roof. “Pillar prints” became a genre unto themselves and were referred to in Japanese as hashira-e or tanzaku.

The Woodblock Print

This print is in very good condition with strong color, no fading, discoloration, or foxing to be seen. The print is a rare pillar print which has three of the margins intact.

The Artist

Yoshimoto Gesso is known for a large number of landscape and kacho-e (images of birds and flowers) designs published by Hasegawa and Nishinomiya, but little else is biographically known about him. These designs were very well crafted with artistic compositions made presumably for the export/foreign market. His work is very painterly, leading some to believe that he was a trained painter whose works were commissioned, and then transformed into woodblocks by the professional carvers and printers at Hasegawa and Nishinomiya, but that is speculation.


Gesso, Yoshimoto


(A+) Excellent Condition






Ko-tanzaku (3"x13.5")


Birds / Beasts

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