Kawase Hasui, Early Summer Showers at Sanno Shrine

Kawase Hasui, 1883-1957

Twelve Scenes of Tokyo: Early Summer Showers at Sanno Shrine
(Tokyo Junikkei: Samidare furu Sanno)

dated and signed, Taisho hachi (Taisho 8 [1919]) Hasui, with artist's seal Hasui, the series title on the left, Tokyo junidai followed by the print title, Samidare furu Sanno, and round Watanabe publisher's seal at right, ca. 1919

dai oban tate-e 15 1/8 by 10 3/8 in., 38.5 by 26.2 cm

This composition is an unusual example where Watanabe used mica to render the streaks of rain. While mica was a favorite embellishment of many shin hanga artists and publishers, Watanabe employed it rather sparingly. Perhaps he was more interested in exploring the textural effects of the woodblock printing process such as utilizing baren suji-zuri (baren swirls) and goma zuri (sesame seed printing) which would become hallmarks of a Watanabe-produced woodblock print.

References:
Kato, Junzo, comp., Kindai Nihon hanga taikei, 1975-76, Vol. I, pl. 195
Brown, Kendall H., Kawase Hasui: The complete woodblock prints, 2003, p. 293, no. 26
Putney, Carolyn M., et al., Fresh Impressions: Early Modern Japanese Prints, Toledo Museum of Art, 2013, p. 102, cat. 30

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