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Showa Period (1926-1989)

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Tsuchiya Koitsu, Japanese, (1870–1949)
The Sumida River and Suijin Woods, 1934
Ink on Paper
14 3/8 in. x 9 9/16 in. (365.13 mm x 242.89 mm)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Showa (Japan, 1926-1989)
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Frederick S. Bailey
Accession Number: 54.1.110

Alternate Title: Tokyo fukei: Sumidagawa Suijin-mori
Full Title: Scenic Views of Tokyo: The Sumida River and Suijin Woods

Label on verso, lower right: Bai VI 11. On recto, lower ede, in pencil: Sumidagawa River, Kaitsu 1934. On mat in pencil: Bai VI 2, title, Koitsu. Signed: Koitsu. Artist's seal: Shin. Printer: Goto. Carver: Katsumura.

Colored ink on paper; woodblock print.

Object Description
Color woodblock print in a modern Japanese style, with an image of a landscape in a snow storm. With the rapid industrialization of Japan in the late 19th and 20th centuries, both sides of the Sumida River were quickly crowded with factories, refineries and shipping facilities. Only a few small spots, like the Shinto Shrine at Suijin, preserved the natural beauty of the old riverbanks. In this highly nostalgic view, published in the mid 1930's when Japan was attacking China and rapidly expanding its military industrial complex, Koitsu focuses on the "old Japan" of sailing boats and women clad in kimono, but reluctantly acknowledges the increasing presence of "modern life" on the far side of the Sumida River. Prints like these were not only popular with the Pre-World War II Japanese public but also with the post-war G.I., who similarly sought the more innocent Japan of the past.

Doi Sadaichi seal.

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