Koka (Toyonari)

Yamamura Koka (Toyonari)


Buddha's Hand with Navel Oranges
(Busshukan to neburu)

signed Toyonari with date seal Taisho hinoe tora (Taisho, year of the fire tiger [1926]), self-published via the Yamamura Koka Hanga Kankokai, ca. 1926

dai oban yoko-e 10 7/8 by 15 5/8 in., 27.7 by 39.8 cm

In 1924 Toyonari self-published (with the support of the Publication Society of Yamamura Koka's Prints) a group of ten prints that expanded his range beyond kabuki portraits with an untitled set that included images of beauties, landscapes, still-life, and bird-and-flower subjects. The prints explored a greater abstraction with bold colorization, in this composition embracing an emerging modern woodlock print aesthetic emphasizing the black outline and flat planes of color.

While Toyonari's printed works were never produced in great abundance (and published in limited editions), his stylish bird and flower subjects from the 1924 group are comparatively more scarce than even some of his pre-earthquake portraits of actors; likely indicative of a smaller distribution at the time of production than the kabuki portraits which benefited from a much wider audience.

Dorothy Blair, Modern Japanese Prints, Toledo Museum of Art, 1930, no. 212
Carolyn M. Putney, Fresh Impresions: Early Modern Japanese Prints, Toledo Museum of Art, 2013, p. 239, no. 219
Andreas Marks, Seven Masters: 20th Century Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Wells Collection, 2015, pp. 64-73, and Yamamura Koka (Toyonari) Exhibition History, p. 211

(inv. no. C-1721)

price: $2,000


Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.

site last updated
December 7, 2021

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475