Shiro Kasamatsu – Bonito-fishing Boat, Katsuofune


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Additional information


Kasamatsu, Shiro


(A+) Excellent Condition, (A) Very Fine Condition




First Edition, Limited, Numbered


Sosaku hanga


Self published


Double Oban


Birds / Beasts, Boats, Fishing, People

An image measuring 14.5″x19.5″ and a paper size of 16″x21.5″, this is the only double-oban sized print by Shiro Kasamatsu that we’re aware of. It is large, dynamic, unusual in its single color design, and exceedingly rare… this is the only copy we’ve found outside of the one in the printed catalogue (that one is numbered 27/100). What we’re seeing is the side of a commercial fishing boat where the fishermen can haul in over a ton of bonito or skipjack tuna in a matter of minutes.

Designed and self-published by the artist, Shiro Kasamatsu was one of only a handful of artists that were successful as both Shin-Hanga and Sōsaku-Hanga artists. Published in 1977, this is a limited edition, first edition, numbered in pencil “7/100” without any edition letter. Self -published print, dated “1977”. Japanese title “Katsuofune”. Extremely rare and sought-after self-published print.

The Woodblock Print

This woodblock is in very fine condition to excellent, with rich, strong color throughout the woodblock. A clean verso, intact margins, deckled edges. A few small areas of foxing

About the Artist

Shiro Kasamatsu (笠松 紫浪, 1898-1991) was a Japanese engraver and print maker trained and excelled in the Shin-Hanga and Sōsaku-Hanga styles of woodblock printing.

Shiro was born in Tokyo in 1898, and was apprenticed at the age of 13 to Kaburagi Kiyokata (1878–1973), a traditional master of bijin-ga. Kasamatsu however took an interest in landscape and was given the pseudonym “Shiro” by his teacher. Kasamatsu made woodblock prints for the publisher Shōzaburō Watanabe from 1919 until the late 1940s. All of the earlier woodblocks were destroyed in a fire in Watanabe’s print shop following the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Around 50 prints were published by Watanabe by the late 1940s. Kasamatsu began to partner with Unsodo in Kyoto from the 1950s and produced nearly 102 prints by 1960. He also began to print and publish on his own in the Sōsaku-Hanga style, producing nearly 80 Sōsaku-Hanga prints between 1955 and 1965 (pencil signed and numbered editions).

Shiro Kasamatsu is unique within modern Japanese woodblock printmakers in that he is equally well-regarded for both his shin-hanga and sosaku-hanga prints.