Shoda Koho – A Country Scene (with Moon)


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Koho, Shoda


(A) Very Fine Condition




Early Edition




Chuban (7"x10")




Night, River / Lake / Ocean, Solitude

As an avid fly fishermen, it’s scenes like this that can really draw you into the atmosphere created by the image. You can visualize walking along the road that parallels the river, navigating by moonlight, perhaps using your tenkara rod to catch a trout under the overhanging branches.

The Composition

Among “Hasegawa’s Night Scenes” this composition minimizes the role of the human as the subject of the composition. Without spending extra time looking, the impact of people is relegated to the silhouettes of building rooftops around the bend of the river. Instead, the focus is on the gentle curve of the river, the reflections of the darkened trees along the banks and the full moon in the evening sky. Perhaps a bit of a trick of the eyes, but the sunset has a faint warm glow at the horizon line.

This print differs from the sepia version in that the composition includes the moon (and its reflection) along with being blue instead of the sepia toning.

The Woodblock Print

This chuban-sized woodblock by Shoda Koho is an early edition in very fine condition. We can tell the edition based on the type of paper (thin, almost silky) and the lack of margins. Signed in the lower right corner. Made in Japan stamped on the verso. A clean verso with strong edges. Trimmed as seen in early editions.

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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