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Glimpse Through Beautiful Medieval Japanese Landscapes From Paintings of Tsuchiya Koitsu

In the early history of Japan, paintings were mostly inspired by the Chinese art style and choosing landscapes as the primary subjects. Throughout history, Japanese artists slowly found their own art styles to vividly express the environment around them. The landscape is referred to as Sansui (山水) in Japan, “san meaning “mountain” and sui “water”. As the result, most Japanese landscape paintings contain mountains and flowing water. One of the most popular landscape artists in the early 19th century is Tsuchiya Koitsu.

Tsuchiya Koitsu (1870 – 1949) was born in a rural area of Japan. From 1931, he was working for the publisher Watanabe in Shin-Hanga style specializing in landscape prints. In his art style, Koitsu intensively used the effects of light to create moods and emotions. This style was inspired by the works of his master – Kiyochika Kobayashi and of the famous Shin-Hanga artists such as Kawase Hasui and Hiroshi Yoshida.

Koitsu prints are solid beautiful works, and by no means mediocre. Thus they have been receiving appreciation from the art community in recent years. We will take a tour through some beloved works of Tsuchiya Koitsu.

#1 Shinobazu Pond in Ueno

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#2 Zojo-ji Temple

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#3 Yomei Gate in Nikko

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#4 Wisteria and Half Moon Bridge at Kameido

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#5 Ueno Park

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#6 Tea Shop at Kiyomizu Temple

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#7 Sunset at Tomonotsu, Inland Sea

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#8 Spring Snow at Maruyama

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#9 Snow at ukimido, Katada

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#10 Sengaku Temple – Graveyard of 47 Ronin

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#11 Sacred Bridge in Nikko

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#12 Ushigome Kagurazaka

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#13 The Pond of Sarusawa, Nara on a Rainy Evening

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#14 Pagoda and Cherry Blossoms

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#15 Asakusa Kannon Temple

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

#16 Nezu Shrine in Snow

Source: Tsuchiya Koitsu

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