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篁子生画選 Koushisei Gasen [36 Series]

The identification numbers used here are original to Rakusan who assigned them to each of the designs in the order they were first published. Although the sequential order is securely attested, to date publication documentation for the installments particular to this series have not yet become available. All of the publication dates currently used here are taken (or extrapolated) from dates for the related, simultaneously published, Fan Series. Each design in this series of oban-size woodblock prints first appeared between January 1934 and mid 1935, although some of the designs were actually created earlier in the latter half of 1933. Rakusan continued to reprint these designs until he closed his studio for WWII in around 1940-1941. After the war he resumed reprinting several of them during the period 1948-1955.

Rakusan called this series 篁子生画選, Koushisei Gasen, translated here as Koushisei's Print Selections. The image at the top of this page is that title on a woodblock-printed label applied to one of the Manila-paper folio envelopes used to deliver the prints. However, the working title used most often here is 36 Series. Rakusan created the 36 Series as part of a larger project which also included the Fan Series which appears in the immediately following gallery. Isolating the 36 Series here is somewhat artificial and the subpages for each of the 36 Series designs may also be accessed from the Fan Series gallery.

All illustrations on this gallery page are of representative edition I copies. However, edition I for this series includes significant color and technique variations in the printing of many of the designs. Those variations, and any differences in edition II, are described and illustrated on the individual subpages for each design. Please note that the selection of a representative version for this gallery page index was a matter of chance and convenience only. The versions of these particular examples are not in any way more special or standard than ones shown only on the subpages.

The more complex 36 Series edition characteristics and dating challenges are discussed in a separate article here.

[Click on the thumbnail to bring up a subpage which includes a larger image of the design, additional details and images, and links to related designs.]


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© 2009 (revisions & subpages © 2012, 2015, 2017) Dr Michael J P Nichols

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