Yamamura Koka, February, Winter Sky

Yamamura Koka, Toyonari, 1885-1942

Comparison of New Ukiyo-e Beauties: February, Winter Sky
(Shin Ukiyo-e Bijin Awase: NiGatsu, Samuzora)

with fine mica background, signed at right, Koka ga, the series title in the pink cartouche at the upper right corner, Shin ukiyo-e bijin awase, followed by the print title, Nigatsu, Samuzora, published in 1918

dai oban tate-e 17 3/4 by 11 3/8 in., 45.2 by 29 cm.

The series title of this print, Shin ukiyo-e bijin awase, and the print title specifying one of the twelve months links this composition to a collaborative series which is usually dated to 1924 and credited as published by Murakami, however new scholarship identifies the publisher as the Publication Society of Shin Ukiyo-e Bijin Awase. Although stylistically this design is quite different than the other contributions to the series and the larger title cartouches are placed within the composition instead of on the margin, an impression of this design is included in a set of twelve prints from the series found in the collection of the National Diet Library, Tokyo, which is dated to 1918.

References:
Kato Junzo, comp., Kindai Nihon hanga taikei, 1975-76, vol. I, pl. 148
Amy Reigle Newland and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th Century Prints of Japanese Beauties, 2000, p. 90, no. 114
Andreas Marks, Seven Masters: 20th Century Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Wells Collection, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2015, p. 208 (regarding date of publication)

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