Shoson (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 woodblock 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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Mallards in Autumn

Shoson

Mallards in Autumn

JPR5254

$1,980.00
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Cockatoo on a Red Bar

Shoson

Cockatoo on a Red Bar

JPR5339

$2,700.00
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Tit on Paulownia

Shoson

Tit on Paulownia

JPR-209076

SOLD

Snow at Yanagibashi

Shoson

Snow at Yanagibashi

JPR1-55812

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Three Red Carp, Water Plant Above

Shoson

Three Red Carp, Water Plant Above

JPR-208133

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Wild Geese

Shoson

Wild Geese

JP1-49052

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Deer Near Waterside

Shoson

Deer Near Waterside

JP1-49020

$1,600.00
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Carrion Crow on Snow-covered Willow

Shoson

Carrion Crow on Snow-covered Willow

JPR5371

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Crows in Moonlight

Shoson

Crows in Moonlight

JPR-208158

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Cranes on Sea Shore

Shoson

Cranes on Sea Shore

JPR-208157

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Pigeon in Flight and Blossoming Cherry Tree

Shoson

Pigeon in Flight and Blossoming Cherry Tree

JPR-208131

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White Egrets in Snow

Shoson

White Egrets in Snow

JP-200069

SOLD

Cicada on Willow Tree

Shoson

Cicada on Willow Tree

JPR-91944

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Tiger Lilies and Butterfly

Shoson

Tiger Lilies and Butterfly

JP5510

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Morning Glory

Shoson

Morning Glory

JPR5461

$2,100.00
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Cockatoo and Pomegranate

Shoson

Cockatoo and Pomegranate

JP1-49050

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Snow on Willow Bridge

Shoson

Snow on Willow Bridge

JPR1-58027

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Heron in Rain

Shoson

Heron in Rain

JPR5214

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Two Rabbits and Full Moon

Shoson

Two Rabbits and Full Moon

JP-104579

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Scops Owl Flying Under Cherry Blossom and Full moon

Shoson

Scops Owl Flying Under Cherry Blossom and Full moon

JP1-48994

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Carp

Shoson

Carp

JP1-48992

SOLD

Flying Geese in Snow

Shoson

Flying Geese in Snow

JPR-109828

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Wild Ducks and Pampas Grass

Shoson

Wild Ducks and Pampas Grass

JPR-109826

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Five Egrets Descending in Snow

Shoson

Five Egrets Descending in Snow

JPR-109756

SOLD