ぼけ乃花と頰白(盛春) [on the print*]

boke no hana to hoojiro (seishun)

Quince Flowers and Meadow Buntings (Mid Spring)

ぼけの花と頰白(盛春の部) [on the folios*]

boke no hana to hoojiro (seishun no bu)

Quince Flowers and Meadow Buntings (Mid Spring Division)

ボケの花とホオジロ(盛春)

[*Rakusan included の部, no bu, 'division', only on the pre-printed folio labels and omitted it in the final versions of the title-captions on the woodblock prints.]


Original Number

8


ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR THIS DESIGN
Currently Documented Edition Signature and Seal Markings:
Edition I: 楽山居 Raku-zan Kyo + Seal F
Edition III: 楽山篁子生 Raku-zan Kou-shi-sei + 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 8 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 8th 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: First printing and publication details for 8 are known precisely because copies of the delivery documents for installments two, three, and four have survived. The design was first announced as upcoming in the installment two documents sent out June 10, 1929, and 8 was expected to appear in July in installment three (where if it had appeared then, it would have been the 6th design). However, the production encountered problems, publication of 8 had to be delayed, and a different design became 6. In the installment three documents sent out July 20, 1929, 8 was again announced, this time to appear in August in installment four as the 8th design. The first print run of about two hundred copies of 8 was completed August 20, 1929, and the publication date was August 21, 1929 in installment four (of fifty). The design proved to be popular, and additional full edition I print runs were made before mid 1933 when the series was completed and edition I printing ceased. As a result, nine tenths of all documented copies of 8 come from edition I printings. No edition II copies have yet been documented, and it is possible that the multiple reprintings of 8 in edition I produced enough copies that an edition II reprinting never became necessary. All edition I copies look very much alike, including the two different examples illustrated at top above and below left.

Edition III: Sometime between 1948 and 1955 8 was reprinted in a single, much smaller, edition III print run. 8 is one of several designs in this series whose edition III copies are instantly distinguishable from earlier editions by significant color changes. The upper background is much lighter and contrasts more strongly with the now darker lower areas, especially the wider and more saturated band of mahogany red bokashi shading. Pale grays replace the browns of the quince stems, and at least slightly different hues are used for most of the other colored areas. Edition III reprinting was largely for resale by Walter Foster, and the few documented edition III copies of 8 each have the Foster era secondary cursive Rakusan romaji signature, including the typical example below right.

8 (Edition I) 8 (Edition III)

Species Illustrated:
The three species of flowering quince are collectively known in Japanese as 木瓜, ぼけ, ボケ, boke, and in English informally as "Japanese Quince". Today the Japanese name is also used particularly for one of the most common garden varieties, Chaenomeles speciosa var. cf. lagenaria, a selection of an originally Chinese and Korean species early imported into Japan. There is also a shorter-growing native species, Chaenomeles japonica. These quinces have been cross-bred into many forms for flower and fruit production and are often used in bonsai.

(Siberian) Meadow Bunting, Emberiza cioides, 頰白, 頬白, 画眉鳥, 黄道眉, ほおじろ, ホオジロ, hoo-jiro, lit. 'cheek-white', is a common native species in Japan. In 8 Rakusan shows a small flock of five birds taking dust baths. The coloration of the birds is not precisely typical of the species, and the genders of the similarly plumaged birds cannot be determined.


Related Designs:
Other designs with flowering quince:
106-1 106-2 106-3 106-4 106-5 106
105-1 (?)

Other designs with meadow buntings:
101-1 126-3