'Shibu Hot Springs, Nagano' from the Series 'Collection of Hot Springs in Japan'
This 1st edition Ishiwata Koitsu (art name 'Yoshimi') woodblock print depicts an atmospheric evening scene in the streets of the traditional hot spring resort Shibu Onsen In Nagano prefecture. This is a very rare print with beautifully lush color. Online references say it was published in 1940. It bears Ishiwata Koitsu's seal, along with the 'B' seal for Watanabe, which dates the print to c1927-1932, so not sure on the actual date, but most sources state the series was c1940. This print is laid on board, a process utilized in Japan, which is an acid-free, heat-activated adhesive that can be removed with heat or acetone. It protects the print from buckling in areas with high humidity. The print measures 15" x 10.75", matted in black, and framed in a simple black frame measuring 19" x 15".
Ishiwata Koitsu is often confused with Tsuchiya Koitsu. They worked in the same period. Ishiwata was born in Tokyo in 1897 as Shoichiro Ishiwata. He began his career studying design, fabric dyeing, and Japanese-style painting. By the 1920s, he had earned a reputation as fabric designer working for Yokohama’s Nozawaya department store. It was none other than Hasui Kawase, a leader of the shin hanga, or new print, movement,that spurred Koistu’s shift to the woodblock medium. In 1930, Koitsu dedicated himself to the print medium and assumed his name. In 1931, he produced neighborhood genre scenes for the famed shin hanga publisher Shozaburo Watanabe. Koitsu’s later series include Collection of Pictures of Toys (c.1935) and Hot Spring Landscapes (c.1940), as well as several works that combined woodblock and stencil techniques published by Junji Kato. P90539 $895.00
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