若蘆に青鷺 (晩春)

waka ashi ni aosagi (banshun)

Young Reeds and Gray Heron (Late Spring)

若アシにアオサギ (晩春)


Original Number

70


ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR THIS DESIGN
Currently Documented Edition Signature and Seal Markings:
Edition I: 楽山居 Raku-zan Kyo + Seal A
Edition II: 楽山篁子生 Raku-zan Kou-shi-sei + Seal F

[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 70 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 70th 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: Initial printing and publication about two hundred edition I copies of of 70 was in March 1932 (or perhaps slightly later) in installment thirty-five (of fifty). It appears that 70 was not reprinted again before mid 1933 when the series was completed and and all edition I printing ceased. Therefore, only the initial print run comprises the entirety edition I, including the two different example copies illustrated at top and below left.

Edition II: 70 was reprinted in a single, smaller, edition III reprinting sometime between 1936 and 1941.An example copy from this printing is illustrated below right.

No edition III printings of 70 are currently known.

70 (edition I) 70 (edition II)

Unfortunately, very few copies of edition II of 70 are known. It is unclear to what extent the observable differences between the two examples above are real or are photographic artifacts.

Copies in Public Collections:
Edition II: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA; (1951) 51.1737 [not illustrated online except as a slightly-cropped greeting card reproduction].

Species Illustrated:
Common Reed , Phragmites australis, 蘆, 芦, 葦, 葭, あし, アシ, ashi, 'reed', is a native waterplant found in Japan and much of temperate South and East Asia. The Japanese name is also a general one for 'reed' and refers to any similar species. The descriptor 若, waka, 'young', in botanical usage refers to 'new growth, new leaves, etc.'

Gray Heron, Ardea cinerea, 青鷺, あおさぎ, アオサギ, ao-sagi, lit. 'blue heron', is an instantly recognizable common native species. Rakusan chose to illustrate the birds in this series as close as possible to life size. Therefore, he had to capture the large heron walking in deep water in a hunting pose in order to fit it within the available image area.


Related Designs: