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A Comparison of Prints by Sozan and Shoson

Many prints by Ito Sozan and Ohara Shoson (also called Koson) are noticeably similar in subject matter and composition. Shoson's prints tend to be very realistic and precise in their details, while Sozan print's are more stylized, often reminiscent of Japanese ink paintings. Some of this similarity in subject matter is likely due to the fact that both men worked with the same publisher, Watanabe Shozaburo. Watanabe probably tried to capitalize on previously successful kacho-e designs by having the artists in his studio imitate earlier prints in some of their work. In addition, the genre of kacho-e paintings and prints tends to be quite repetitive, using the same themes over and over. It was traditional to depict birds like parrots on flowering branches, or to pair bats with a full moon.


Bats and moon
by Ito Sozan


Bats and moon
by Ohara Koson


Egret in flight
by Ito Sozan


Egret in flight
by Ohara Koson


Parrot and
Pomegranate
by Ito Sozan


Parrot and
Pomegranate
by Ohara Shoson


Crows & full moon
by Ito Sozan


Crows & full moon
by Ohara Shoson

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