猫柳に河千鳥 (冬)

nekoyanagi ni kawachidori (fuyu)

Pussywillow and Snowy Plovers (Winter)

ネコヤナギに シロチドリ (冬)


Original Number

83


ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR THIS DESIGN
Currently Documented Edition Signature and Seal Markings:
Edition I: 楽山作 Raku-zan Saku + Seal A
Edition IIIa: 楽山篁子生 Raku-zan Kou-shi-sei + Seal B
Edition IIIb: 三拙庵楽山 San Setsu An Raku-san + 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.]

Design History:
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 83 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 83rd 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 83 was in October 1932 (or perhaps slightly later), and it was delivered in installment forty-two (of fifty). However, additional edition I printings may have continued until mid 1933. The copy illustrated above is typical of edition I.

No edition II copies of 83 are currently known.

83 is unusual in having two different attribution markings in edition III. Almost all edition III copies have edition IIIa markings, but a few have edition IIIb (see above). Edition IIIb was produced without a woodblock-printed signature and seal since for those copies they have been hand-applied.

Otherwise the edition III images are very similar to each other. All edition III copies of 83 have somewhat different ink colors with more saturated maroon and lime green accents, and a paler-overall background than was used in edition I. The difference is striking enough to make identification of the edition obvious from the image colors alone. Edition III copies can only be dated approximately from between 1948 and 1955.

Species Illustrated:
Rosegold Pussywillow, Salix gracilistyla, 猫柳, ねこやなぎ, ネコヤナギ, neko-yanagi, lit. 'cat-willow', is a common native species in Japan. The variety name is based on the name for Weeping Willow, Salix babylonica, 柳, 楊, 楊柳, やなぎ, ヤナギ, yanagi, which is also used as a general name for any willow, much as in English. Rakusan was fond of willow motifs and used them in several artworks.

A distinctive variety of as yet unidentified grass with seed heads is also included in the composition. (Hopefully the variety will be identified in the future.)

Snowy Plover (Kentish Plover), Charadrius alexandrinus, 白千鳥, しろちどり, シロチドリ, shiro-chidori, lit. 'white plover', is a common Japanese native. Rakusan calls it by another descriptive name, 河千鳥, kawa-chidori, lit. 'river plover', an apt name in that the birds are often found inland where Rakusan might have seen them. The muddy environment with freshwater-loving grass and willow shows that the area is not on the seacoast. However, Rakusan's name would not today be considered to be limited to any one species.


Related Designs:
Other designs with pussywillows:
125-1 125-2 125-3 125-4 125-5 125

Other designs with willows:
65 86 131-4

Other designs with plovers:
40alt 40