Selection From the Collection of Chiba Museum of Art XVIII
The exhibition selected from the permanent collection is on view from Aug.2~Sept.4, 2022
It includes Japanese paintings and woodblock prints from the 17th to the early 20th centuries by KUBO Shunman, KATSUSHIKA Hokusai, UTAGAWA Hiroshige, KEISAI Eisen, TANI Buncho, and so on under the theme of "Assortment of Birds and Insects",
Special Edition ： OHARA Koson (小原古邨)
OHARA Koson （1877～1945）mostly depicted pretty birds, animals, and flowers and created 500 woodblock prints. Though Ukiyo-e was an art that flourished among the common people in the Edo era, it gradually became unpopular due to the spread of newspapers. Koson was one of the prominent artists in Shin-hanga (新版画) movement which revitalized the traditional ukiyo-e and flourished in early 20th century, during the Taisho and Showa periods. They strictly followed the traditional ukiyo-e collaborative system where the designer, carver, printer, and publisher work in division(分業). A publisher WATANABE Shozaburo (1885〜1962), contributed a great deal to the success of selling Koson's works in the United States. Most of his woodblock prints are housed in the museums overseas.
Here are some which depicting spring and summer.
The title of the woodblock print above is "Horned Owl and the Moon". Koson depicted the exact moment that a fluffy horned owl started flying down.
The title of the woodblock print above is "Sandpipers on the Beach" He depicted three sandpipers resting in a peaceful and lovely atmosphere.
The title of the woodblock print above is "Rooster". You'll find masterful skills of description as well as delicate carving technique in the expression of the feathers and other details.
Here are some woodblock prints under the theme of "Assortment of Birs and Insects", too.
The title of the woodblock print above is "Japanese Robin (komadori) from the series, All Kinds of Horses", by KATSUSHIKA Hokusai 葛飾北斎(1760〜1849).
Japanese word 'koma' refers to as 'Horse'.
Komadori was named after its singing voice sounded like a horse's neigh.
Hokusai depicted the print accompanying the kyoka poem which was composed under the theme of 'horses'.
Kyoka(狂歌) is a parody of tanka(Japanese poem) that contains social satire, irony, and humor in 31(5-7-5-7-7) syllables. Many kyoka poems were the parodies of masterpieces such as Kokin Wakashu (a collection of ancient and modern Japanese poetry) compiled in 900s(the Heian Era).
Many poets were attracted by kyoka. Ukiyoe with kyoka poem on it was popular among Edo citizens.
The title of the woodblock print above is "Pink Flowers, Green Soybeans, and Cricket" by KEISAI Eisen 渓斎英泉 (1791〜1848). Eisen depicted commonplace motifs with an elegant touch. The print was published in around 1818-30.
The title of the woodblock print above is "Parakeet" by KEISAI Eisen 渓斎英泉(1791〜1848)
Koson depicted a beauty and an uncommon parakeet, which was a unique motif in those days. It was published in around 1818-30.
The title of the woodblock print above is "Dandelion and Butterflies" by TANI Buncho 谷文晁 (1763～1841). Buncho was one of the prominent painters of Bunjinga(文人画) in the Edo period. He effectively utilized the contrast between dark and light.
The title of the woodblock print above is "Shimada: Nagao of the Owariya, from the series
Tokaido Board Game of Courtesans: Fifty-three Paintings in Yoshiwara by KEISAI Eisen 渓斎英泉(1791〜1848). You'll see utensils for the Japanese tea ceremony on the back ground.
In those days tea ceremony was one of the most required culture for the educated courtesans.
Special Edition ： MINAMI Keiko
Special Edition ： AKIOKA Miho
More about Chiba City Museum of Art: please access https://www.tokyo2020chiba.com/post/shall-we-see-the-museum