In the 1920s, Kyoto-based publisher Maria Gabou planned Western Flowers Series (You Souka Fu) based on the botanical paintings of Soun Chigusa. When Maria Gabou ran short on Soun's designs, they commissioned Rakusan to fill out the series with designs done in the style of Soun. The original printing of the series did not include indication of authorship on the designs, for either Soun Chigusa or Rakusan. By 1936, the series was printed with signatures, yet the attribution of each design was inconsistent. Due to this inconsistency, signatures on designs from this series are unreliable.
About the artist
Soun Chigusa was a painter and printmaker known for his floral designs. Born in Kyoto, his artistic education began with the nihonga painter Seiho Takeuchi. He exhibited widely as a painter, building his reputation as a master of kacho-e, or “bird-and-flower prints,” and produced floral prints in the Shin Hanga style.