Currently Documented Edition Signature and Seal Markings:
||+ Seal F
||+ 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 8 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 8th 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'.
Edition I first printing details for 8 are known precisely because copies of the delivery documents for installments two, three, and four have survived.
The design was first announced as upcoming in the installment two documents sent out June 10, 1929, and 8 was expected to appear in July in installment three (where if it had appeared then, it would have been the 6th design).
However, the production encountered problems, publication of 8 had to be delayed, and another design became 6.
In the installment three documents sent out July 20, 1929, 8 was again announced, this time to appear in August in installment four as the 8th design.
The first printing run of about 200 copies of 8 was completed August 20, 1929, and the publication date was August 21, 1929 in installment four (of fifty).
However, additional edition I printings were made and may have continued until 1933.
The copy illustrated here is typical of edition I.
No edition II copies of 8 are currently documented. Edition III is marked also by color changes.
The background colors are all more saturated and the hues are slightly different. The quince stems are gray instead of brown, and there are many, more subtle, additional differences. Edition III printings can only be approximately dated between 1948 and 1955.
The three species of flowering quince are collectively known in Japanese as 木瓜, ぼけ, ボケ, boke
, and in English informally as "Japanese Quince".
Today the Japanese name is also used particularly for one of the most common garden varieties, Chaenomeles speciosa
var. cf. lagenaria
, a selection of an originally Chinese and Korean species early imported into Japan.
There is also a shorter-growing native species, Chaenomeles japonica
These quinces have been cross-bred into many forms for flower and fruit production and are often used in bonsai.
(Siberian) Meadow Bunting, Emberiza cioides, 頰白, 頬白, 画眉鳥, 黄道眉, ほおじろ, ホオジロ, hoo-jiro, lit. 'cheek-white', is a common native species in Japan.
In 8 Rakusan shows a small flock of five birds taking dust baths.
The coloration of the birds is not precisely typical of the species, and the genders of the similarly plumaged birds cannot be determined.