Now available: the first comprehensive catalogue raisonne of Tsuchiya Koitsu prints:

The Catalogue Raisonne of Tsuchiya Koitsu
Meiji to Shin-Hanga, Watercolours to Woodblocks

Catalogue Raisonne of Tsuchiya Koitsu
  • Large 26 x 30cm (w x h) cloth hard cover volume. About 450 pages;
  • Dust jacket and cloth slip case;
  • Over 300 woodblock prints, watercolours and lithographs in full colour. Most prints are individually displayed on a full page.
  • Many previously unseen works of art (including lithographs, and double-oban Doi-published woodblock prints!);
  • Six separate publisher chapters, and many research and reference articles;
  • Comprehensive seals, signatures, and watermarks chapters;
  • Includes Japanese translation (全チャプター の邦訳も付いてます!)
  • Now shipping.Place your order here.

The Complete Works Of Tsuchiya Koitsu

2009 update: Please use the new database-enabled catalogue here

This is most definitely a 'work in process'. Here, I am attempting to catalogue all of the published prints by the noted woodblock print 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. Apart from this website, there is currently no known comprehensive reference of Koitsu prints - either printed or virtual (web-based), although has nearly 100 prints of Koitsu catalogued. Also, we should not forget to mention the only text reference which focuses on Koitsu's prints -- that of the Chigasaki Art Museum, Japan, entitled "Tsuchiya Koitsu: Adoration of Scenery" (1999 - in Japanese - available for purchase here). I would estimate that Koitsu designed close to 300 prints in total. Periodically, previously unknown Koitsu prints (unknown to myself and colleagues) are being added to my database.
2006 January: updates to this database are on hold until the publication of our Koitsu catalogue.

Please help our Koitsu research. If you have scans or digital photos of any Koitsu prints, please email them to me here.
The prints in this 'virtual catalogue' are listed in order of publisher, and then design date, with those undated prints being listed first. You can navigate through this catalogue via the thumbnail print menu on the left (no menu? Click here), or sequentially using the forward and back arrows that appear below each detailed view of a print. You can adjust the image viewing size by adjusting your browser window's width.

Please also take a look at articles on Tsuchiya Koitsu by colleagues and myself in the "Research and Articles" section of my site. 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 "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 studying 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 really became a successful 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), and a few prints for 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. A reference article on seals found on Tsuchiya Koitsu prints can be found here, and other Koitsu research articles can be found in the 'Articles and Research' section of my site here.

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Many of the images on this site have been sourced from other web pages. I make no claim to copyright on any of the images on this website, including those images of prints that I have scanned myself.

© Dr Ross F. Walker.