Kawatsura Yoshio (Negoro Raizan): Thunderstorm at Enzan, Shiba, Tokyo (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Kawatsura Yoshio (Negoro Raizan) 1887-?
Title: Thunderstorm at Enzan, Shiba, Tokyo (Shiba Enzan no yudachi)
Date: 1922

The pagoda at Enzan, also known as Sanenzan Kodo-in Temple Zojoji. Golden flashes of lightning skip across the clouds, which seem to have been softly delineated with the edge of the printer’s baren. Streaks of silver rain, grey rain and embossed rain feature printing that must be seen to be believed. An ancient pine anchors the scene at lower right. This is like a snapshot of lost history, as in this view the 5-story pagoda still stands, and it rises above a cluster of forest. This structure and many others were destroyed in WWII, and now Tokyo Tower quite aggressively dominates the surroundings. Very little is known about the artist Raizan.  His prints are very scarce, most likely because they were published before the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake and most of them were therefore destroyed. We also can assume that his publisher did not have the marketing genius of Watanabe Shozaburo. The Robert Muller collection at the Freer Gallery of Art has 17 works by Raizan; otherwise, few examples are known. These works never include a white paper margin--the design goes all the way to the paper edge. Scarce.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. 
Dimensions: 37 x 23.7 cm (oban)
Publisher: Yoshikawa Kobunkan
LIterature:  Illustrated in “The new wave”, page 166, number 203. See the Freer Gallery of Art online for the Muller example.