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Sozan (fl. 1919 - 1926)

Bird on a Snow-covered Nanten Bush

Medium: Woodblock Print
Date: c. 1936
Size (H x W): 5 x 7.25 (inches)
Publisher: Watanabe Shozaburo
Seals: So, Zan
Edition: Octavo-size gift print
Condition: Very good color, impression and state.



While the Shozaburo Watanabe is best known for publishing the oban-sized prints of shin hanga artists, his 1936 catalog shows that he also produced a range of miniature woodblock prints based off of popular shin hanga designs. The 1936 catalog states that these small-scale works were meant to be used as Christmas cards. These small prints were not simply reproductions, but original woodblock prints carved and printed by Watanabe's studio. This petite design by Sozan is an example of one of these "post card" prints.

About the artist

Sozan Ito was print artist known for his Shin Hanga designs. Born in 1884, he completed kacho-e, or “bird-and-flower pictures,” and some bijin-ga, or “pictures of beautiful women,” for the famous Shin Hanga publisher Shozaburo Watanabe. This relationship continued from 1919 to 1926. Unfortunately, little is known about Sozan’s life and career outside this partnership.