Japan art and Ito Sozan: Birds and ladies

Japan art and Ito Sozan: Birds and ladies

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Ito Sozan was born in 1884. However, his death remains open to speculation. 

Information about Sozan remains sketchy. Yet he did excel in kacho-e art (prints of birds and flowers). Despite this, the few known bijin-ga (beautiful ladies) art pieces by Sozan are very distinctive. 

His artwork of birds and nature remains delightful to view today – just like during his lifetime. In the above art piece, the concentration of the bird, ripples from the water, and plants highlight an individual with great artistic skills.

He produced art for Watanabe Shozaburo before Ohara Koson took over in 1926. Thus speculation persists if this concerns the death of Sozan – or was this based on being replaced or possibly falling out with his publisher?

In the art piece below, the scene isn’t particularly dramatic – or complex. However, the bird looking for food in the snow still provides joy. 

Sadly, little is known about his life despite belonging to the twentieth century. Yet, while not being the most prominent shin hanga (new prints) artist to emerge from Japan, Sozan’s art is distinctive.

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