Shoda Koho – Uyeno Park


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Koho, Shoda


(B) Fine Condition










Chuban (7"x10")


Cityscape, Night, People

Ueno Park is a spacious public park in the Tokyo, Japan. Established in 1873 on lands formerly belonging to the temple of Kan’ei-ji, it is one of Japan’s first public parks, founded a year after Yellowstone National Park was established as the first national park in the United States. Ueno Park is celebrated in spring for its cherry blossoms and hanami festivals.

The Composition

In this woodblock Shoda Koho captures the scene of a parent and child taking in the cityscape by night, reflected in the waterways of the park, with a crescent moon hanging in the sky.

The Woodblock Print

This chuban-sized woodblock by Shoda Koho is an unknown edition with beautiful rich color in excellent condition. The orange highlights/flames and the white of the moon pops against the blues. A clean verso with strong edges. Trimmed as seen in early editions. This print is unsigned by the artist; it was part of a group that were originally framed and sold by the high end department store John Wanamaker.

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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