Numata Kashū 沼田荷舟, artist. Kachō Gaen 花鳥画苑 [An Album of Birds and Flowers]. Circa 1916 (artwork 1889). [Matsuyamado, publisher]. 24.7 x 17.5cm string-bound Japanese-style, fukuro-toji in embossed, blue-gray wrappers with gold decoration and printed title slip.  cho of original woodcuts including the colophon on the final sheet. Japanese text within the woodcuts. On heavy paper with an iridescent finish. A beautiful “picture garden” of exotic bird and flower woodcuts by artist Numata Kashū 沼田荷舟 (1838-1901). This collection is a lovely example of the traditional pairing of birds and flowers; birds are depicted perched on flowering branches, resting in tall grass, eating a large bug or just-caught fish. Some aspects of the landscapes are well defined while others are dreamy in comparison. Numata Kashū was born into a noble family,eventually making a living as a painter, even helping to decorate the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. He became well-known for his work in the bird and flower genre.
Although this 2nd book in the 5 volume series was published in the early 1910s, the artwork and original edition were done in 1889 and the colophon on the final sheet gives the zodiacal date of 1889 (乙丑 Kinoto Ushi). See Bartlett and Shohara p. 241, Mitchell p. 319. Each volume was designed to stand on its own. From the collection of Geoff Burton.