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Kotozuka Eiichi (1906-1979)


Biographical Data

Biography

Kotozuka Eiichi 琴塚 英一 (1906-1979)
Sources: Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, Helen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1992, p. 78; Japanese Wood-block Prints, Shizuya Fujikake, Japan Travel Bureau, 1938 revised 1949, p. 112, 114.

Eiichi Kotozuka, born in Osaka, graduated from the Kyoto Kaiga Semmon Gakko (Technical School of Painting) in 1930.  From 1932, he exhibited prints with Shun’yokai (Spring Principle Association), an artist’s organization that exhibited Western-style art.  He also exhibited with the government sponsored Teiten.  He was a member of Nihon Hanga Kyokai (Japan Print Association) from 1938.  In addition to print making, Kotozuka exhibited Japanese-style paintings with the artists' organization Seiryusha, which he helped found in 1929.   He was also a co-founder of Koryokusha in 1948 with fellow artists Tokuriki Tomikichiro (1902-2000), Kamei Tōbei  (1901-1977) and Tasaburo Takahashi (1904-1977) which they set up to publish their creative prints (sosaku hanga).  After WWII he created a number of designs for the publisher Uchida Publishing, including his most famous series Eight Snow Scenes of Kyoto

Other series created by the artist include Scenes from Four Historical Cities; Scenes from Shiga, Nara and Kyoto; and Four Scenes from Kyoto. He also participated in the design of the series Fifty Kinds of Flowers (Hana Goju Dai no Uchi) with Tobei Kamei and Tomikichiro Tokuriki and Twenty-Four Views In and Out of Kyoto with Tobei Komei.

One of Kotozuka's 20 designs for the series Fifty Kinds of Flowers, c. 1936.

Kotozuka illustrated at least one children’s book after WWII titled Kaguyahime.

Artist Seals

Various seals used by the artist on both his sosaku hanga work and his shin-hanga work.  Most of the artist's seals are read as "koto".

unread
Koto koku ga
("picture carved by Koto" - seal used for prints carved by Kotozuka)
 unread seal
Koto
Koto (Merritt)
Koto
Koto
Koto


Collections (partial list)

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; University of Alberta Art Collection; The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; The National Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Carnegie Museum of Art.