The Night Scene Series: 'Lake Biwa' #1247
It depicts a beautiful silhouetted night scene with a woman and man in a boat on Lake Biwa, the woman is poling the boat and the man is seated taking in the view, which looks out over a waterway to a village of lantern-lit homes and open pagodas in the distance. Tiny stars hang high in the sky. This print was published by Hasegawa-Nishinomiya. I believe this is an early edition on thin paper, which does not have any seals or margins, but likely was in a presentation folder, since removed. There is a great description of the publication dates for the Hasegawa 'Night Series' of prints at http://www.ukiyoe-gallery.com/nightscenes.htm. It is marked 'Made in Japan' on the verso. It measures 9.75" x 7.125". While the early versions were without margins, this one might be further trimmed because the lanterns on the left middle edge are expertly trimmed, so as not to cut them out, which they would have been if the cut was 'even' with the left side. It is in very good condition with superb color. The Night Scenes series of twenty-one chuban prints illustrates evening views evocative of traditional Japan in a limited palette of sepia or blue originally issued in the 1910s, although Nishinomiya seems to have continued to produce the simple nocturnes in the same format into the 1920s-30s. The collaborative series included the work of Shoda, Koho (1871-1946), Arai, Yoshimune (1873-1945), Kobayashi, Kiyochika (1847-1915), Gyosui, Suzuki (1898-?) and Eijiro, Kobayashi (1870-1946) and Yoshimoto, Gesso (1881-1936). A 1920s catalogue issued by Hasegawa-Nishinomiya illustrates each of the twenty-one designs with titles.