Currently Documented Edition Signature and Seal Markings:
||+ Seal G
||+ Seal F
[For illustration of seals listed by seal code letter, see the Seals article.
For edition characteristics applicable to this series as a whole, see the Edition article.]
This woodblock print was produced from an original painting on silk dating from the late 1920s whose current location is unknown.
The indentification of this design as number 16 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 16th design in his series of one hundred woodblock prints called 楽山花鳥畫譜, Rakuzan Kachou Gafu
, lit. 'Rakusan's Flower and Bird Print Series'.
Initial edition I publication of 16 was in December 1929 (or perhaps slightly later) in installment eight (of fifty).
However, additional edition I printings of 16 may have continued until 1933.
The copy illustrated here is typical of edition I.
Edition II reprintings of 16 can only be approximately dated from between 1936 and 1941.
An edition II copy of 16 was included in a Rakusan presentation album from August 1941.
No edition III printings of 16 are currently known.
16alt, a woodblock print of an alternate sketch of the same design subject was issued the month before the initial printing of 16 as a preview advertisement (see Related Designs below).
Copies in Public Collections:
Edition II: Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, USA; (1942.44.f) [illustrated online].
Hardy Begonia, Begonia grandis
, 秋海棠, しゅうかいどう, シュウカイドウ, shuu-kaidou
, is a Japanese native herbaceous plant.
The Japanese name means literally 'autumn flowering-crabapple', which refers both to the bloom time and the typical white and/or pink flowers.
The bird in 16 is something of a mystery. Rakusan uses the name 瑠璃鶲 which is normally the name for Siberian Bluechat/Bluetail (Red-flanked Bluetail, Orange-flanked Bushrobin), Tarsiger cyanurus, 瑠璃鶲, るりびたき, ルリビタキ, ruri-bitaki, lit. 'lapis lazuli flycatcher', a native Japanese bird which he illustrated in 114 in the 36 Series.
However, Rakusan's bird in 16 has an orange rump and a prominent white patch on the wing, and Siberian Bluechat has a blue rump, evenly blue wings, and other different coloration details.
It is possible that in 16 Rakusan was depicting an as yet unidentified species and mistakenly identified it as a bluechat.
Rakusan typically does not mention small prey animals in his title-captions.
In 16 the bird is peering at two small crickets. The general name for any field (or garden) cricket (family Gryllidae) is 蟋蟀, こおろぎ, コオロギ, koorogi, 'cricket'. The particular species illustrated here is probably Oriental Garden Cricket (Emma Field Cricket), Teleogryllus emma, 閻魔蟋蟀, えんまこおろぎ, エンマコオロギ, en-ma koorogi, lit. 'town-witch cricket'.