Hasui: Unique Fan Print of the Port of Ebisu, Sado
Artist: Kawase Hasui
Title: Unique Fan Print of the Port of Ebisu, Sado
Date: circa 1921
A newly discovered, previously undocumented woodblock print in the folding fan format. The design is inspiried by Hotei #78, an oban print from 1921. This format must have been an experiment by a publisher, probably Watanabe, although the design never seems to have gone to print. The seal and signature are consistent with Hasui’s Taisho era, pre-earthquake work. Watanabe had the technology and the relationship with Hasui to print a work of this nature, but he usually focused on the export market, which did not include fan designs.
It is also possible that a publisher like Haibara, who was used to printing in the fan format for domestic consumption, printed this and put it in a sample book with other fan designs for customers to choose from. Perhaps this is why the roman number “5” has been stamped onto the print int he lower left. Haibara published a series of fan designs in the uchiwa-e format in 1935, designs which were later published by Kato and Ayumi Shuppan. It is also possible that a number of prints of this design were sold to the public, but that none survive as they were mounted as fans and then discarded. When looking at other designs from this period in the oban format, it is evident that this design is the most suited to be adapted into a fan format. (The Hasui scholar Hisao Shimizu from the Ota City Folk museum has been shown this work and is convinced that it was an experiment by Watanabe and is a pre-earthquake design.)
Condition: Very good impression and color. Good condition. Center fold and very small area of repainting in the upper left corner.
Dimensions: approx 22 x 52 cm
Publisher: Watanabe Shôzaburô