This beautiful woodblock is “The Cherry Tree in Kawagoe” by Hiroshi Yoshida, from Hiroshi Yoshida’s series “Eight Scenes of Cherry Blossoms”. Printed posthumously from the original blocks by Toshi Yoshida and Yoshida Studio.
The Woodblock Print
This oban-sized woodblock is in excellent condition. Rich, stunning color and crisp details, no discolorations to be seen in the image, clean and intact margins and a clean verso.
About the Artist
Hiroshi Yoshida (吉田博, 1876-1950) was born in 1876 in Kurume, Fukuoka prefecture and began his artistic training with his adoptive father. Around the age of twenty, he left Kurume to study with Soritsu Tamura in Kyoto, subsequently moving to Tokyo and the tutelage of Shotaro Koyama. Yoshida studied Western-style painting, winning many exhibition prizes and making several trips to the United States, Europe and North Africa selling his watercolors and oil paintings. He played a leading role in the organization of the Meiji Fine Arts Society into the Pacific Painting Association in 1902. While highly successful as an oil painter and watercolor artist, Yoshida turned to woodblock printmaking upon learning of the Western world’s infatuation with ukiyo-e.
Following the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, Hiroshi Yoshida embarked on a tour of the United States and Europe, painting and selling his work. When he returned to Japan in 1925, he started his own workshop, specializing in landscapes inspired both by his native country and his travels abroad. Yoshida often worked through the entire process himself: designing the print, carving his own blocks, and printing his work. Although he designed his last print in 1946, Yoshida continued to paint with oils and watercolors up until his death in 1950.
All of his lifetime prints are signed “Hiroshi Yoshida” in pencil and marked with a jizuri (self-printed) seal outside of the margin. Within the image, most prints are signed “Yoshida” with brush and ink beside a red “Hiroshi” seal.