Studies in Water-Colour, Fourth Series
group of eight lithograph prints (the fourth set from a series of five), in original envelope with informational sheet detailing the color separations with colors grouped by hue and identified in English; published by Fubunkan, Tokyo, and Koseikan, Osaka,the envelope dated Meiji sanjushichinen nigatsu nijunanaichi (Meiji 37 , February 27)
envelope: 10 3/8 by 7 3/8 in., 26.5 by 18.8 cm
each print approx. 7 3/8 by 5 in., 18.8 by 12.8 cm
Each on original cardstock with title slip on verso:
1. Deer (Shika)
2. Grove (Kodachi)
3. Schoolgirl (Jogakusei)
4. Evening View of a Fishing Village (Gyoson yukei)
5. Winter Withering (Fuyuka)
6. Ducks (Ahiru)
7. Village View (Mura kei)
8. Brushes (Fudetate)
Born in Tokyo, Oda Kazuma studied Western-style painting with Kawamura Kiyoo (1899-1934) and lithography with his older brother Oda Tou (who operated a lithography shop in Osaka), and Kaneko Masajiro (active 1884-early 1900s). Kazuma worked primarily as a lithographer, but he was also an ukiyo-e enthusiast publishing two books on the subject and owned a collection of Hokusai ehon. He began working as a designer with the Koshiba lithography studio in Tokyo in 1903 and was one of the foremost artists to popularize lithography in Japan. Kazuma explored woodblock printmaking as well, experimenting with carving and printing his own work in the spirit of the sosaku hanga (creative print movement), as well as publishing six woodblock prints through the auspices of the leading shin hanga publisher Watanabe Shozaburo (885-1962) in the 1920s.
In 1900 an introductory book teaching watercolor painting by Oshita Tojiro (1870-1911) was a best-seller, demonstrating the robust interest in the medium. This didactive collection of images (the fourth in a series of five) reflects both a timely response to a new market as well as a continuation of a long-standing tradition of artists publishing instructive manuals for other artists in the same manner as the illustrated books by Hokusai that Kazuma collected and used as a source of inspiration in his own work.
Oda Kazuma Ten: Meiji - Taisho - Showa, Utsuriyuku Fuukei (Oda Kazuma Exhibition: Meiji - Taisho Showa, Changing Scenery), 2000, p. 136, no. 210 (for another in the series)
Koyama Shuko, Kawase Hasui's Travels Scenes: An Investigation from the Viewpoint of Taisho-Era Tourism, in, Kendall Brown, ed., Water and Shadow: Kawase Hasui and Japanese Landscape Prints, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2014, p. 40 (on watercolors)
(inv. no. 10-5211)
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site last updated
October 21, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
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