鼠のまくらに黄びたき (初春) [on the print*]

nezumi no makura ni kibitaki (shoshun)

Privet and Narcissus Flycatchers (Early Spring)

鼠のまくらに黄びたき (初春の部) [on the preceding folio*]

nezumi no makura ni kibitaki (shoshun no bu)

Privet and Narcissus Flycatchers (Early Spring Division)

ネズミノコマクラにキビタキ (初春)


Original Number

42


ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR THIS DESIGN
Currently Documented Edition Signature and Seal Markings:
Edition I: 楽山居 Raku-zan Kyo + Seal A

[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 42 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 42nd 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'.

Rakusan announced the upcoming publication of 42 in the delivery documents for installment twenty which was distributed December 28, 1930. 42alt, a woodblock print of an alternate sketch of the same design subject, was included in installment twenty as a preview advertisement. Printing and publication of the first print run of approximately two hundred copies of 42 was in January 1931 in installment twenty-one (of fifty). (The exact printing and publication dates are unknown since no copies of the installment twenty-one delivery documents have yet been located.) Additional edition I printings of 42 may have continued until mid 1933. The copy illustrated here is typical of edition I. No later edition printings of 42 are currently documented.

There is a printing flaw in 42 in the lower left portion of the composition. The privet leaves are all underprinted in yellow and were all supposed to be overprinted in green. A bent-leaf shape immediately below the main branch remained the underprinted yellow, presumably because the required area on the green block was accidentally carved away. This flaw remains uncorrected on all known copies.

Copies in Public Collections:
Edition I: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA; (1951) 51.2482 [not illustrated online].

Species Illustrated:
Evergreen Privet, Ligustrum japonicum, is today usually called 鼠の小枕, , ねずみのこまくら, ネズミノコマクラ, nezumi no ko-makura, lit. 'rat's little pillow'. Instead Rakusan wrote 鼠のまくら, nezumi no makura, lit. 'rat's pillow', a variation which omitted the diminutive adjective.

Included in the composition at the bottom, but not mentioned in the title-caption, is a spray of Japanese Red Cedar (or Peacock Pine), Cryptomeria japonica, 杉, sugi, which is a native Japanese tree widely used for timber and for landscape plantings.

Narcissus Flycatcher, Ficedula narcissina, 黄鶲, きびたき, キビタキ, ki-bitaki, lit. 'yellow-flycatcher', is a Japanese native species. The birds are shown as a mated pair, the drab female and the brightly colored male.


Related Designs:

42alt

Other designs with red cedar:
99 104-1