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Ohara Koson is one of the most famous Japanese artists – Articles about the artist – Zen Designer

Traditional Japanese prints of the genre “Flowers and birds” (Cacho-e) the great Japanese artist Ohara Koson.

Cacho-e is a Japanese term used for all prints and print editions, United by one theme – the genre “Flowers and birds” – traditional Japanese art. Koson Ohara is the most famous master of the Japanese woodblock genre Cacho-e of the 20th century.

Ohara Koson was born in 1877 years in Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture, in Northern Japan. At birth was given the name Ohara, MATEO.

Studied painting with Suzuki Koson – Japanese woodblock print master of the genre of Ukio-e, and after the master’s death took his name. During his career, o’hara several times changed its name, CESSON, on Jason. So sometimes there is confusion with the signatures on the prints. On one we read CESSON Ohara, Ohara hoson the other or Vice versa. However, it’s the same artist.

In 1904 Koson Ohara creates a series of engravings, devoted to the Russo-Japanese war. Then there was nothing unusual. At that time almost all the masters of the Japanese woodblock genre of Ukio-e was engaged in one way or another on this topic. First was in the fashion the theme of the Sino-Japanese war (1894 – 1895), and then the topic of the Russo-Japanese war (1904 – 1905).

Engraving on Japanese-Russian war, Ohara Koson.

Only one but. The theme of the Russo-Japanese war was fashionable only among the masters of engraving, but not pokupatelya. At the same time, engravings, dedicated to the Sino-Japanese war were bought up during the day. There is nothing surprising, because the demand of the Japanese prints in the traditional style was replaced by a demand for photos, which was more simple and fast way to convey to people the latest news. Traditional Japanese art has lost its meaning.

Ohara Koson also haven’t suffered commercially from a sharp decline in the demand for engravings, as in the Ukio-e in General. He had a regular stable income working as a teacher at the school of fine arts in Tokyo.

In the school of fine arts coson met with his U.S. counterpart Ernest Penoles, who loved traditional Japanese art piece prints. Ironically it was those who convinced Cocona continue to make piece of engraving in the traditional style. Thus appeared the first prints Ohara in the genre of flowers and birds, printed in the format of tanzaku and published Matsuki Heikichi.

After returning to painting, Koson resumed work on the engravings of the genre Cacho-E. His current interests are prints in the traditional Japanese style, which in 1926 were published Wannabe Sozaburo – the initiator of the movement of Shin Hanga. Almost all prints made then coson, have been exported to the USA. In fact, these Japanese prints, traditional Japanese art, traditional Japanese prints were designed for export, because the Japanese almost completely lost interest in their own cultural values and traditions. So, since the end of the 19th century, Japanese art old and new, including traditional Japanese prints, in large quantities were exported from Japan to Europe and North America in large quantities.

Woodblock Ohara Koson of the genre flowers and birds, as well as his etchings with images of animals, resemble a watercolor than a print. This is not surprising, because in his works the artist used as watercolor and oil. His etchings of the genre “Flowers and birds” performed with a high degree of skill that you can notice how carefully and finely drawn, the plumage of birds.

Ohara Koson used a different signature to your prints, as already mentioned. Precise Dating of these is sometimes very difficult, if not impossible. However, one thing is certain: the engravings made after 1923 after the great earthquake in Japan, we see more bright colors than his earlier works. Some of the artist’s prints were published even in different versions, often with significant changes in color.