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Signs of Spring - Mt. Togakushi

Mabuchi Tōru (1920-1994)

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Signs of Spring - Mt. Togakushi

by Maeda Masao, c. 1955

Boar from Takeuchi Seihō's Album of the Twelve Calendrical Animals

IHL Cat. #686

About This Print

Likely an artist's or printing proof, as the seller of the print has seen the final version which "has some slight color and design variations."  Maeda created numerous prints of Japanese mountains.   In this print he has used mica highlights (click on image below) throughout the slopes of the mountains.

Togakushi along with Madarao, Myōkō, Kurohime, and Iizuna are collectively known as the Five Peaks of Northern Shinano (Hokushingogaku). They make up the border of Nagano and Niigata Prefectures.

detail of silver mica highlights
click on image

Many of Maeda's works depict mountains and he was keen hiker, if not a climber.  In discussing his work, the author Peter Lang quotes the artist and offers his comments:
"A true mountaineer has to get to the top, but the finest panoramas are down in the middle heights ... That's where I stop."  Masao Maeda's finest work is often from this vantage point. He frequently went to great pains to overprint colors in order to achieve textures that make his mountains and trees determinedly tactile.1

1 Beyond the Great Wave, James King, Peter Lang, 2010, p. 184.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #686
 Title Signs of Spring - Mt. Togakushi
 浅春戸隠 Asai Haru Togakushi
 Maeda Masao (1904-1974)
 Seal unsealed
 Publication Date c. 1955
 Edition likely a proof print
 Publisher  self-published
 Carver self-carved
 Printer self-printed
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - printers marks in margin
 Genre sosaku-hanga (creative print)
 Format dai-oban
 H x W Paper 13 1/4 x 18 3/8 in. (33.7 x 46.7 cm)
 H x W Image 12 x 16 5/8 in. (30.5 x 42.2 cm)
 Collections This Print 
 Reference Literature