Currently Documented Edition Watermark, Signature, and Seal Markings:
||+ Seal A
|Early Edition II:
||+ Seal F
|Late Edition II:
||+ Seal B
[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 65 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 65th 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 65 was in January 1932 (or perhaps slightly later), and it was delivered in installment thirty-three (of fifty).
However, additional edition I printings of 65 may have continued until as late as 1933.
The copy illustrated here is typical of edition I.
Edition II of 65 is unusual in having two distinct sub-editions: an earlier one with seal F and a later one with seal B. The rich tan background color of edition I is retained into the earlier edition II seal F sub-edition. However, there was at least one print run of the later edition II seal B sub-edition for which Rakusan substituted instead a pale watery almost greenish background. Edition II reprintings of 65 can only be dated approximately from between 1936 and 1941, but it is likely that the more numerously documented seal F sub-edition exended for most of that period with the seal B sub-edition coming only at the very end. Most copies of the seal B sub-edition were sold after World War II during the Foster sales period. To date no edition III copies of 65 have been documented.
Copies in Public Collections:
Edition II (seal F): Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA; (1951) 51.1740 [not illustrated online except as a slightly-cropped greeting card reproduction].
[This copy is unusual in having a reported secondary seal (seal C) at lower left which would have been applied later; unfortunately that area is cropped in the reproduction.]
Edition II (seal F): San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA, USA; 1981.21.3 [illustrated online].
Weeping Willow, Salix babylonica
, 枝垂(れ)柳, しだれやなぎ, シダレヤナギ, shidare-yanagi
, lit. 'weeping willow', is a very common willow species in Japan.
Weeping Willow was introduced into Japan hundreds of years ago from China.
Like English, Japanese has a general name for 'willow', 柳, 楊, 楊柳, やなぎ, ヤナギ, yanagi
, which may also be used to refer in particular to the Weeping Willow.
However, the descriptor 枝垂(れ), (枝)垂れ, しだれ, シダレ, shidare
, which refers to any tree with a weeping (pendulous) habit, is often added (as here) for clarity of reference.
(Additional willow designs, presumably illustrating other species may be found at design number 86
in this series.)
Although not mentioned by name in the title-caption, 65 also includes a branch of pink-flowering Peach, Prunus persica var., 桃, もも, モモ, momo, 'peach'.
Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica, 燕, つばめ, ツバメ, tsubame, 'swallow', is a familiar native species.
The name for the Barn Swallow may also be used as a general name for any swallow species or similar-appearing bird.
Here Rakusan uses 群, ore, 'flock (a general collective)'.