Koitsu Ishiwata: Evening Glow at Namamugi, Yokohama (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Ishiwata Kōitsu (1897-1987)
Title: Evening Glow at Namamugi, Yokohama
Date: 1931

A slender crescent moon rises above a glowing orange horizon, the sun’s light still strong enough to illuminate clearly the many carefully observed details in the foreground.  Koitsu has here borrowed a page from Hasui’s book in that he has chosen a pedestrian view of a working prewar industrial space and through thoughtful design and printing made it very beautiful.  In the foreground we see piles of gravel, a chimney rising, and small boats tied up along the banks. In what might be unique accent to a stone pile in all of shin hanga, the gravel piles seem to be accented with sparkling mica. The brilliant moon and sky elevate the work and place it in the natural world. Today the scene would undoubtedly be one of concrete and steel, these more humble building materials of wood and stone long gone. This is a very scarce early work, one of few published by Watanabe, here with the first edition seal at right that was in use 1928-32.

Ishiwata Koitsu is no relation to the older Tsuchiya Koitsu, who also worked at about the same time. He did not publish many works with Watanabe, as westerners probably preferred scenes that focused on the more scenic side of life, rather than the more realistic and industrial aspects of Japan.

Publisher: Watanabe Shozaburo
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban (39 x 25.8 cm)
Signature: Koitsu