Shotei, Takahashi (1871 - 1945), "Moon from Aiobashi Bridge (Pre-Earthquake)"
|Title||Moon from Aiobashi Bridge (Pre-Earthquake)|
|Medium||Original Japanese Woodblock Print|
|Edition||First and only.|
|Publisher||S. Watanabe Color Print Co.|
|Reference No||Folk #106|
|Size||7 x 10 " (chuban format)|
|Condition||Very fine, with fresh colors.|
Notes: This early pre-earthquake design displays similar marks in the lower margin to the example shown in the Folk Museum catalog; as well as identical block breaks throughout the image. Period label on the reverse: "Nishikiye Sha No. 3016" on verso, with ying-yang logo.
The moon shines eerily over Aiobashi Bridge, while fishing boats are anchored in front of lighted homes. An exceedingly scarce pre-earthquake design.
Shozaburo Watanabe produced woodblock prints mainly for his foreign customers. Many of the earliest works were o-tanzaku size ukiyo-e like prints designed by Shotei (Hiroaki) Takahashi with added modern features. He brought them for sale to Yokohama, Kobe and Karuizawa; a summer resort for foreigners. His reputation was fine and the designs sold well, making it possible for Shozaburo to start producing new woodblock prints of other talented new artists. During these early years, most customers of such prints were foreign businessmen stationed in Japan or foreign tourists, some of them wealthy collectors. Therefore, most of Shozaburo's early prints were taken to foreign countries and did not stay in Japan." - All the Woodblock Prints of Ito Shinsui