Night Scene of Sanjo
By Yokouchi Kiyoharu (Ginnosuke)
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Edition size: n/a
Sheet size: 41.4 by 28.5 cm
Price: $1000 (excl. taxes)
signed Kiyoharu with artist's seal Yokouchi, dated on left margin, Showa juninen saku (made in Showa 12 ), followed by the title, Sanjo no yakei, and Hanken shoyu Yokouchi Ginnosuke (published by Yokouchi Ginnosuke), self-published in 1937
dai oban tate-e 16 1/4 by 11 1/4 in., 41.4 by 28.5 cm
Yokouchi Kiyoharu (Ginnosuke) was a Yokohama-based artist well-known for his impressionistic watercolor landscape paintings. He self-published eight woodblock prints, each design presumed to be in a single edition limted to 300 based on the limited edition seals found on his 1935 print depicting Asakusa Kannon in the Rain. Merritt & Yamada describe his work as self-carved and self-printed, however it's more likely that he commissioned the carving and printing from professionals, a common practice by the 1930s among artists that otherwise specialized in painting.
This print has previously been given the descriptive title of Mountain Hot Springs, however, the Japanese title indicates "Sanjo," which is either located in Kyoto or in Niigata- and neither area is particularly known for their hot springs. While the composition itself bears a striking resemblance to the ancient hot springs at Nishiyama Onsen Keiryukan located in Koshu, Yamanashi, which is the oldest hotel in the world, founded in 705 and operated by the same family for over 1300 years.
Helen Merritt, and Yamada Nanako, Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, 1992