Koson (1877 - 1945 )

Koson Ohara (aka Shoson or Hoson) was a master of early 20th century kacho-e (bird-and-flower pictures).With meticulous detail, soft color, and a palpable reverence for flora and fauna, Koson carried the genre into the modern era. Koson was born in Kanazawa with the given name Matao Ohara. He began his artistic career studying painting under the Shijo-style master Kason. Around the turn of the century, Koson became a teacher at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, where he met Ernest Fenollosa, an American collector, scholar and admirer of Japanese art and culture. Around 1905, Koson started to produce woodblock prints. Fenollosa, the curator of Japanese Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and an adviser to the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, persuaded Koson to export his bird prints to American art collectors.

Between 1900 and 1912, Koson worked with a number of different publishers and designed a few Russo-Japanese War prints, as well as genre landscapes, but his passion remained with kacho-e. His earliest and rarest designs were notable for their narrow formats and soft colors. All prints were signed or sealed Koson. A majority of them were published by Kokkeido and Daikokuya. After 1912, he changed his name to Shoson and dedicated himself to painting.

Ten years later, Koson returned to printmaking. In 1926, Koson began designing woodblock prints for the famed Shin Hanga publisher Shozaburo Watanabe. Koson changed his name once again, this time to Hoson, when he produced designs collaboratively published by Sakai and Kawaguchi around 1930. He also served as an adviser to the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. As Koson used numerous names and seals over the years, dating his work can be difficult. Some of his woodblock prints were published in different editions with variations in color. His prints and paintings can be found in major museums worldwide, such as the Freer Gallery, the Museum of Fine Art Boston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to name but a few.

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Flight of Pheasant

Koson

Flight of Pheasant

JPR5385

$1,200.00
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Quails

Koson

Quails

JP1-49013

$1,600.00
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Starlings in Flight During Rain Storm

Koson

Starlings in Flight During Rain Storm

JPR5337

$1,800.00
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Three Tree Sparrows in Flight Next to Large Banana Leaves

Koson

Three Tree Sparrows in Flight Next to Large Banana Leaves

JPR-98083

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Pheasant in Flight Between Trees

Koson

Pheasant in Flight Between Trees

JP1-49074

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Pigeons and Cherry Blossoms

Koson

Pigeons and Cherry Blossoms

JP5461

$1,800.00
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Stonechat and Cotton Rose

Koson

Stonechat and Cotton Rose

JP5452

$1,900.00
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Two Chicks Fighting Over a Butterfly

Koson

Two Chicks Fighting Over a Butterfly

JP5048

$1,800.00
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Grey Heron Looking Down from a Tree

Koson

Grey Heron Looking Down from a Tree

JP1-49066

$4,200.00
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Mallard on Stump

Koson

Mallard on Stump

JP1-49072

$1,700.00
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Siberian Blue Robin in Flight between Reeds

Koson

Siberian Blue Robin in Flight between Reeds

JPR-208638

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Wading Egret

Koson

Wading Egret

JP-208275

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Peacock and Peahen on Pine Tree

Koson

Peacock and Peahen on Pine Tree

JPR-208130

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A Couple of Pheasants in the Snow

Koson

A Couple of Pheasants in the Snow

JP1-49032

$980.00
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Three Sparrows in Spring Shower

Koson

Three Sparrows in Spring Shower

JPR5319

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Two Swallows Aiming for Bee

Koson

Two Swallows Aiming for Bee

JPR-111896

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Crow on Snowy Branch

Koson

Crow on Snowy Branch

JPR3-26006

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Scop Owl and Crescent Moon Below

Koson

Scop Owl and Crescent Moon Below

JP5453

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Flight of Two Mallard Ducks in Full Moon Night

Koson

Flight of Two Mallard Ducks in Full Moon Night

JPR1-48286

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Eight White-Fronted Geese in Flight, a Full Moon Behind

Koson

Eight White-Fronted Geese in Flight, a Full Moon Behind

JP1-49024

SOLD

Eagle on Snow Covered Pine Tree

Koson

Eagle on Snow Covered Pine Tree

JPR-109752

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Swallow and Peony

Koson

Swallow and Peony

JP5534

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Quail in Flight, Crescent Moon Above

Koson

Quail in Flight, Crescent Moon Above

JP1-49068

$4,200.00
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Hawk and Rainbow

Koson

Hawk and Rainbow

JPR3-26014

SOLD