Koshiro Onchi, Mirror

Koshiro Onchi, 1891-1955


K. Onchi impressed at upper left corner; with mica pink background and gofun printed to the right, ca. 1930

aiban tate-e 13 by 9 1/8 in., 33 by 23.1 cm

Onchi Koshiro was one of the most important and influential artists in the early development of the sosaku hanga (creative print) genre. Although he had an academic background in yoga (Western-style painting) which he studied at the Tokyo Academy of Fine Arts, Onchi fully embraced printmaking as a primary means of creative expression. The limitations imposed by carving and printing forced him to concentrate the lines and intensify the expression of his emotions. The fact that prints by their very nature are an art of multiples was secondary to him, merely a by-product of the process of making the image itself. While most printmakers (artists and printers) strive for consistency with multiple impressions in an edition, Onchi was more interested in variations that the blocks would allow. As such, he tended to produce very few impressions of any given design, and often the impressions would differ significantly.

Kato Junzo, comp., Kindai Nihon hanga taikei, 1975-76, Vol. II, pl. 21
Helen Merritt, Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: The Early Years, 1990, pp. 178-199


karazuri (embossed) signature

Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
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site last updated
September 22, 2022

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475