青幻舎 SEIGENSHA Art Publishing

青幻舎

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Rankafu: Japanese Woodblock Prints of Orchids

Price:
3,000 yen (JPY)
Edited by:
Kaga Shotaro (original edition)
Language(s):
Japanese
Pages:
168
Binding:
softcover
ISBN:
978-4-86152-944-3 C0071

Beauty born of exquisite woodblock printing and the extravagance of one entrepreneur-connoisseur.

Kaga Shotaro (1888–1954) was a prominent business leader of the Kansai region (Kyoto, Osaka, and environs) who is perhaps best remembered for his participation in the 1934 founding of what later became the Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.—and for the Oyamazaki Villa, the enchanting retreat that he built in the hillsides south of Kyoto. It was here that Kaga, a devoted lover of nature and of beauty, indulged in his self-confessed “lifelong hobby”: the cultivation of orchids.

In 1946, concerned that his prized flowers might be lost in the confusion following Japan’s defeat in World War II, Kaga set out to memorialize them in a lavish catalogue entitled Rankafu. He commissioned illustrations from the Japanese-style painter Ikeda Zuigetsu, a student of the noted Kyoto artist Konoshima Okoku, and had them reproduced by masters of the techniques of shin-hanga woodblock printing, which enjoyed worldwide renown at the time, as it indeed still does today.

All 104 plates from that original volume are reprinted in this new, enriched edition, which also examines Rankafu from the perspectives of botany, print techniques, and art history so as to help readers fully appreciate the dazzling display of orchids and Kaga’s aesthetic sensibilities contained therein.

Includes essays by Kuyama Atsushi (director emeritus, Sakuya Konohana Kan conservatory), Fukushima Katsuhiko (director, Oyamazaki Town Historical Museum), and Hayamitsu Teruko and Inoue Koichi (Unsodo woodblock-print gallery)

Kaga Shotaro (1888–1954) was born in the Koraibashi district of the city of Osaka. A leading businessman of the Kansai (Kyoto-Osaka) region, he helped establish the firm that later became the Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd. Also known as a man of many tastes, he cultivated orchids—rare in Japan at the time—and compiled a catalogue of them entitled Rankafu in addition to making many other cultural contributions. The retreat that he designed himself in the Oyamazaki area of Kyoto is now open to the public as the Asahi Group Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art.

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