One of the quietest and most pensive of Hasegawa’s Night Series, and one of my favorites (named the company for it). A lonely fishing boat plies the water on a calm, cloudless, full-moon evening. The viewer is on the shore, taking in the scene behind some river reeds.
The Woodblock Print
This is a mid-edition printing of Moonlit Sea judging by the margins and paper. It is in excellent condition with a clean verso (stamped Made in Japan on the verso). Signature mark on the lower corner of the image. Rich, stunning color. No discolorations to be seen.
About 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“.