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Spring Snow at Kamikochi


Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Spring Snow at Kamikochi

by Itō Takashi, originally 1932

IHL Cat. #74

About This Print

Source: Japanese Wood-block Prints, Shizuya Fujikake, Japan Travel Bureau, 1938, p. 93.
Spring Snow on Kamikochi was completed in 1932 and is representative of his realistic work done in a color tone peculiarly his own.

Source: Spencer Museum of Art webpage http://collection.spencerart.ku.edu/eMuseumPlus?service=direct/1/ResultDetailView/result.inline.list.t1.collection_list.$TspTitleImageLink.link&sp=13&sp=Sartist&sp=SfieldValue&sp=0&sp=1&sp=3&sp=SdetailView&sp=75&sp=Sdetail&sp=1&sp=T&sp=0&sp=SdetailList&sp=0&sp=F&sp=Scollection&sp=l13165
"This vertical composition emphasizes the monumentality of the snowy mountains, while the framing trees on either side brings the viewer into the center of the composition. Itō’s use of bright, almost surreal colors and billowy clouds and snowdrifts create a dreamlike effect."


Source: Japan Atlas website http://web-japan.org/atlas/nature/nat07.html

Kamikochi is a highland basin surrounded by high and steep mountains called the Japan Alps. The basin spreads out along Azusa River that flows down from one of those mountains, Mt. Yarigatake. One of the most scenic mountain spots in the country, Kamikochi attracts a great number of visitors: the mountain views are magnificent and the scattered lakes and clear waters of Azusa River create the beautiful scenery. Kamikochi is also the gateway to the surrounding peaks and charms many mountain climbers. The area belongs to Chubu Sangaku National Park and is designated as a Special Natural Monument.

In Kamikochi, not many large trees are seen, because tree cutting started here in the 18th century and almost all trees on the ground level had been cut down 
by the mid 19th century. Later, cutting of trees was prohibited and stock farms were closed in order to preserve the forest. What makes Kamikochi look as it is today are the trees that grew naturally or were planted thereafter. 


Print Details

 IHL Catalog #74
 Title Spring Snow at Kamikochi (Kamikochi Shunsetsu 上高地春雪)
 Itō Takashi (1894-1982)
Takashi 孝之
Itō Takashi 伊藤孝之 red seal below signature
 Publication Date 1932 original publication date
Later edition (1945-1957) with Watanabe publisher 6mm A-type seal reading ワタナベ  printed in black in lower right corner.
[Marks: seal 08-034; pub. ref. 576]
 Publisher  Watanabe Shōzaburō
 (see the article Watanabe Shōzaburō (Publisher) (1885-1962)]
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - minor toning, 1/8" diameter area of soiling upper right corner of image; minor remnants from prior mounting right margin verso; mounted in archival mat
 Miscellaneous Snow covers the highland of Kamikochi, a popular natural resort in the Japanese Alps
 Genre shin hanga (new prints)
 Format Oban tate-e
 H x W Paper 15 3/8 x 10 1/4 in. (39.1 x 26 cm)
 H x W Image 14 3/8 x 9 3/8 in. (36.5 x 23.8 cm)
 Collections This Print  Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art M.2003.67.33(unspecifiededition and no seals can be discerned on thumbnail image of print);Museum of Fine Arts,Boston 38.724 (unspecified edition); Carnegie Museum of Art 89.28.1332 (unspecified edition with Watanabe publisher round seal of unspecified diameter in lower left corner); Spencer Museum of Art (University of Kansas)1979.0179 (Watanabe 6mm seal)
 Reference LiteratureJapanese Wood-block Prints, Shizuya Fujikake, Japan Travel Bureau, 1938, p. 89, 93; Modern Japanese Prints: The Twentieth Century, Amanda T. Zehnder, Carnegie Museum of Art, 2009, p. 60
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