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Artworks Gallery

Note: Eventually, we hope to include all of the known artworks by Rakusan in this catalogue, but not all of the illustrations and discussions are available for presentation at this time. Rakusan.net currently illustrates at least one image of each Rakusan woodblock print design known as of 2015. Except for most of the Fan Series, there are also subpages describing each one. Addition of the Fan Series subpages is slowly ongoing as time permits. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of the original paintings have received a similar treatment. If you have information about any print designs not currently included here, or about any original paintings of any subject, please contact us.

Each of the woodblock prints actually has margins on all four sides of the image area. Here those margins have been deliberately computer-cropped in order to display the design portions of the images at a larger scale in the available space. (Warning: Physical removal of the margins is a serious condition fault which adversely affects real and educational value and should never be done!) As a result of the computer-cropping, the title-captions and watermarks of the 100 Series designs (and a few others) which appear in the bottom margins are no longer visible in context. Therefore, on each of the subpages for the affected designs, a separate, increased-scale, image of the original title-caption is included. Increasing the scale of the printing of the title-caption relative to the design image also greatly improves its legibility. The watermarks are not shown on the subpages, but are the typical ones for the various editions unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Most of the original paintings and woodblock prints produced by Rakusan are in sets or series. If his original titles and arrangements are known, this catalogue uses them; otherwise titles and arrangements are supplied here as indicated. The numberings for the 100 Series and for the 36 Series are entirely original to Rakusan and indicate the order in which these woodblock prints were first published.

To open individual galleries, click on the thumbnail illustration in the following chart. Within each gallery, to view a larger image and additional details on a subpage, click on the thumbnail illustration.

galleries titles, transliterations,
& [working titles]
size design totals descriptive comments
Rakuzan Kachou Gafu
[100 Series]
dai oban 100 polychrome, life-size birds usually with flowers; sheets always have title-captions and edition watermarks within lower margins
素描 Sobyou
['Rough Sketches',
100 Series Alternates]
dai oban 36 two-tone black and gray; same subjects as 100 Series; sheets always have edition I watermarks within lower margins
Koushisei Gasen
[36 Series]
oban 36 polychrome, various kacho subjects; each corresponds to a Fan Series group with the same subject
Koushisei Ishizuri Gasen
[Fan Series, fan designs]
oban 180 monochrome black fan silhouettes (as negatives); groups have same subjects as 36 Series
[Winter Cards] greeting cards 7 polychrome, various subjects all with snow
[Souvenir Prints] chuban 6+ polychrome, simple designs including landscapes and cartoons

galleries titles, transliterations,
& [working titles]
size design totals descriptive comments
[Green Peacock] o-hosoban 1 polychrome, antique style; *not included in family archives
You Souka Fu
[Western Flowers Series]
oban 49+ polychrome, garden flowers; *authorship of individual prints uncertain but includes some designs by Rakusan and others by So-un; published by Maria Gabo, Kyoto (not by Rakusan Studio)
[Plus a supplemental set of 15 related designs]
[Hodo-Takemura Floral Series] oban 20 (+?) polychrome, garden flowers; *designs by Hodo (no designs by Rakusan); published by Takemura Hideo, Yokohama (not by Rakusan Studio or by Maria Gabo); included here only because of frequent confusion with preceding series.
[An additional 8 designs in a contemporary Hodo series unrelated to the other series here are also included as an addendum.]

[section under construction]

galleries titles, transliterations,
& [working titles]
size design totals descriptive comments
[Landscapes: Kyoto 1 (LK1)] dai oban 16 very large, polychrome, Kyoto landscape paintings on silk; all four seasons represented
[Landscapes: Kyoto 2 (LK2)] oban 10 medium, polychrome, Kyoto landscape paintings on silk; most are smaller versions of LK1; no winter season designs
[Landscapes: Kyoto 3 (LK3)] chuban 12 small Kyoto landscape paintings on paper; 11 in black, brown, white, and blue pigments; 1 polychrome additional version; only winter season designs
[Landscapes: Chinese Style Kinkaku-ji (LCK)] oban 3 medium, polychrome, Kyoto landscape paintings on silk; only summer season renditions of the Kinkaku-ji in an archaic style
[Landscapes: Fujisan (LF)] chuban 4 small, polychrome, Mount Fuji landscape paintings on silk

© 2005 (revised © 2012, 2015) Dr Michael J P Nichols