Watanabe Ikuharu


Competing Beauties in the Showa Era: Plum-Viewing Month [February]
(Showa Bijo Sugata Kurabe: Umemi-zuki Shoshun)

with mica ground, the title cartouche at upper left in the shape of a curling piece of paper, the series title in the narrow section, Showa bijo sugata kurabe, the print title in the flat section decorated with a fern frond, umemi-zuki shoshun, signed below, Ikuharu hitsu with cherry blossom-shaped seal, publisher unknown, ca. 1927-30

oban tate-e 16 1/4 by 10 5/8 in., 41.2 by 27 cm

Watanabe Ikuharu was born in Nagoya and studied under Yamamoto Shunkyo (1871-1933), a teacher at Kyoto Shiritsu Kaiga Senmon Gakko (The Kyoto City Specialist School of Painting).

This scarce series of twelve prints featured a combination of traditional and modern beauties. Their garments are consistently traditional; all wear kimono or yukata, with lavish attention paid to the particularly striking kimono designs and colors. The hairstyles, on the other hand, are equally divided between classic Japanese coiffures and variations of styles favored by the moga.

Amy Reigle Newland and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th Century Prints of Japanese Beauties, 2000, p. 176, no. 247
Ukiyo-e Modern, Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, 2005, p. 35, no. 218 (same series)
Koyama Shunko, Beautiful Shin Hanga- Revitalization of Ukiyo-e, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum, 2009, p. 146, no. 3-66 (two prints from same series)
Ukiyo-e Modern, Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, 2018, p. 41, no.53
ABE Shuichi, Prints of Japanese Beauties in the 20th Century, 2022, p. 170, no. 266

(inv. no. 10-5571)

price: $2,800


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(212) 585-0474 or email
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site last updated
June 4, 2023

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