A blue colored rice bird, “buncho“, is sitting on a red maple tree. While the “subject” is the blue bird, the intricate shading on the maple leaves in various colors, and the depth created, is the real masterwork of the piece.
The Woodblock Print
A beautiful o-hosoban-sized pillar print in excellent condition, this woodblock has beautiful bokashi shading and rich saturation of colors, elevated by the delicate nuances of the different shades and saturations to create depth. Margins intact as they seem to be in all other examples of this piece (a thin right margin), but also a clean verso with good bleed-through. A small drying hole is in the corner.
About the Artist
Itō Sōzan lived between 1884 and 1926 and was associated with the Shin Hanga print movement. Little known, his catalog of prints have been overshadowed by the more famous Ohara Koson as he also seems to have been replaced by Koson for his publisher Watanabe. Ito Sozan was a noted designer of kacho-ga (flowers and birds), and fulfilled that role with the newly formed Watanabe publishing house until his death/replacement (the exact story reasoning is unknown).