Suzuki, Kason (1860 - 1919)

Reading a Letter

Medium: Woodblock Print
Date: 1904
Size (H x W): 8.5 x 12 (inches)
Publisher: Bungei Club
Signature: Motome ni ojite Kason ga
Condition: Very good color and impression, light kuchi-e folds, very light soiling.



Another impression of this print is illustrated in fig. 6.28 of Merritt and Yamada's Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture.

About the artist

Born as Shigeo Suzuki in 1860, Kason Suzuki was the son of a Edo kimono merchant. He began his artistic training with Kyosai Nakajima at the age of fourteen. Two years later, he began his ten year tenure as a pattern designer for the export company Kiryu Kosho Gaisha. He received an award at the inaugural Domestic Industrial exhibition in 1877 for gold lacquer patterns. From 1887 until the turn of the century, Kason worked for Takejiro Hasegawa, a publisher of foreign language texts on Japanese subjects, creating illustrations for an export audience alongside Shoso Mishima and Yoshimune Arai. In the 1890s, he produced some newspaper illustrations for Hochi Shinbun and a print for the English-language book Hana, A Daughter of Japan (1904). While a success as an illustrator, Kason worked primarily as a painter. A member of the Japan Art Institute since 1898, he received recognition at the first and third Bunten exhibitions (1907 and 1909, respectively), as well as the 1910 Japanese-British Exposition. Kason was a teacher to Koson Ohara (1877-1945), who would become renowned for his kacho-e (bird-and-flower pictures).