Art of Japan and Ohara Koson: Kacho-ga and birds

Art of Japan and Ohara Koson: Kacho-ga and birds

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Ohara Koson (1877-1945) is famous for Kacho-ga art. This literally refers to images of birds and flowers. Thus Koson illuminates nature concerning animals, birds, flowers, insects, and plants – while utilizing the changing seasons.

Koson also created art concerning the Russo-Japanese war and other forms of art. However, it is Koson’s Kacho-ga art that stands out.

The Toledo Museum says, “Ohara Koson was a master of the kacho-ga print—images of the natural world, but particularly of birds and flowers. Over his career, he produced more than 450 designs of birds. Typically his images were not of exotic species, but of birds that were commonly seen in Japan… Koson’s aim was to balance a naturalistic portrayal of his subjects with a decorative sensibility—and a desire to convey the spirit of the birds he depicted.”

Sandpipers (art piece above) with the moon in the background highlights the beauty of this world. It also says much for the elements that sandpipers face to prosper. Hence, the delightful backdrop of the color scheme by Koson fits perfectly.

Similarly, in another art piece, you can view the majestic beauty of the Goshawk. Koson also illuminates the beauty of this bird by utilizing the winter setting. Therefore, this highly intelligent species looks naturally at home despite the snow-filled setting.


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