|This is most definitely a 'work in process'. Here, I am attempting to catalogue all of the published artworks (woodblock prints, watercolours, lithographs, etc.) by the noted Japanese artist Tsuchiya Koitsu. While Koitsu was not as prolific a producer of shin-hanga prints as the artist Hasui Kawase was, cataloguing all of his works is a formidable challenge. Periodically, previously unknown Koitsu prints are being added to this database.
Koitsu research articles can be found in the 'Articles and Research' section of this website here. Of course, the best research resource for Tsuchiya Koitsu is our Koitsu Raisonne reference text. We should also mention a smaller Japanese language reference text which focuses on Koitsu's prints -- that of the Chigasaki Art Museum, Japan, entitled "Tsuchiya Koitsu: Adoration of Scenery".
(or refine your search using the search bar at the top of the page).
|How to Search the Database
The Koitsu raisonne is now maintained as a database, allowing you to easily find Koitsu artworks using the search bar at the top of this webpage. If you already know a particular artwork's "code" (e.g., "TK-BN-12"), select that code from the drop-down list above and click the search button. If you are unsure of the artwork's code you can try a comprehensive search. This is a powerful search method that allows you to search for an item in the database using qualifiers such as the item's publisher, a keyword from its title, or simply a feature of the scene (e.g., temple, bijin, fuji, river, etc.).
Please also take a look at articles on Tsuchiya Koitsu by colleagues and myself in the "Research and Articles" section of my site. Of particular interest will be our latest article on how to date your Koitsu print. You can also find my personal collection of Koitsu prints in my private Gallery. If you find any errors while browsing this catalogue, or if you know of other prints which are currently not included, by all means please do not hesitate to contact me here.
|Born in 1870 near Hamamatsu City (Shizuoka Prefecture) with the name "Sahei" (not "Koichi"), Koitsu moved to Tokyo at the age of fifteen. He had planned to apprentice with Matsuzaki, a carver for the artist Kobayashi Kiyochika, but instead, he became Kiyochika's apprentice and moved into his home to study art and print design. It is through Kiyochika that Koitsu gained his trademark skill in the subtle use of light and shadow for his landscape prints. Koitsu lived with Kiyochika for 19 years and was considered more a member of Kiyochika's family than an apprentice. He worked and studied with Kiyochika until around Meiji 33 (1900). In Taisho 11 (1922) he moved to his wife's place of birth in Chigasaki City and lived there until his death.
Although Koitsu first designed woodblock prints during the Sino-Japanese war (1894-1895), and later worked as a lithographer (around 1898 to 1905), he only became an internationally-renown artist after his chance-meeting with Watanabe Shozaburo, the founder of the 'Shin-Hanga' print movement, at an exhibition of Kiyochika's works in 1931 that marked the anniversary of Kiyochika's death. In 1932 he started to produce landscape prints in the shin hanga style for Watanabe, the first being titled 'Cherry Blossom Viewing at Gion', and he went on to design a total of ten prints for Watanabe. He later designed prints for various publishers including Doi Sadaichi (known incorrectly in the West as Doi Teiichi), Kawaguchi, the Kyoto publisher Baba Nobuhiko, the publisher Tanaka Shobido, and the publisher Takemura.
Around the same time that Tsuchiya Koitsu began his shin hanga career, another artist by the name of Ishiwata Koitsu was also pursuing a career as a shin-hanga landscape artist. Despite sharing the same given name "Koitsu", the two men were not related. Their works are sometimes confused since both artists signed their works "Koitsu". However, the styles of their woodblock prints are quite distinctive, as are their seals.