Rock of the Falling Flowers
with date and title at upper right, 1940, Rakkagan, and artist's seal Hasui at lower right, published by Watanabe Shozaburo, ca. 1940
koban 6 by 3 7/8 in., 15.1 by 10 cm
This is a small-format version of Hasui's 1939 print of the same location from his series Eight Views of Korea (Chosen hakkei) which he produced after returning from a trip to Korea earlier that year. The larger than usual prints (approx. 16 1/2 by 11 1/2 in.) were published for the Osaka-based Kansai Bijutsusha by Watanabe Shozaburo.
The composition depicts a small sailboat passing beneath the cliffs of the Nakhwaam, or, Rock of the Falling Flowers (Rakkaan), located near Sabi (present-day Puyo) which was the capital of the ancient Paekche kingdom from 538-660 AD. According to legend, court ladies and concubines would fling themselves from the cliff to avoid capture by invading armies, and the sight of the figures dressed in beautiful robes descending to the water looked like falling flowers.
This postcard-sized print is unusual because it is both titled and even more notably, dated; and it is not recorded in Brown's, Kawase Hasui: The Complete Woodblock Prints.
Kendall H. Brown, Kawase Hasui: The Complete Woodblock Prints, 2003, vol. I, p. 114 (on Nakhwaam)
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