Officially known as Shogetsu Kojima, this Japanese
artist actively painted from 1880 to 1890.
During the Meiji era, which was from 1868 to 1912,
Japan saw a number of artists surfaced, one of these being
fact, today you can visit the Shogetsu Museum in Wakakusa,
Japan, which features magnificent paintings, ceramic, and
bronze from both the Edo and Meiji periods.
While Shogetsu created many beautiful pieces to
include woodblock prints, one of his most prized is a
triptych of six noblewomen, along with two bonsai trees to
the left. One of the bonsai is a pine tree, tall and thin.
This particular tree is planted in a shallow, blue
pinched-neck pot, designed with three base feet.
Then to the right of this larger bonsai is the
triptych section with a shallow, rectangular blue pot that
is designed with white corner feet, which holds a cave rock.
Called Kifujin No Tashinami, this is one of
Shogetsu’s most beautiful creations.
Two aspects of Shogetsu’s work that stand out are
the beautiful color and the amazing detail.
Much of his print oeuvre was what you would expect
from the latter part of the Meiji era.
For instance, you would see Shogetsu’s work
involving flamboyant genre scenes from ancient Japan, as
well as current times.
Shogetsu also focused some of this attention on
Sino-Japanese war, which began in 1894 and lasted until
Typically, you would find woodblock prints and other
art created by this artist signed as Toshun Shogetsu. One of his most spectacular pieces of art is called Tokugawa
Shogun Pleasure Boat, which was created in 1889. This woodblock print features a Tokugawa shogun enjoying the
beautiful cherry blossoms residing along the Sumida River
while sailing the river in three large, pleasure boats.
These three ships were named Hachimanmaru, Ho-o maru,
and Tenchimaru, with the setting depicting time around 1798.
What makes Shogetsu’s work so wonderful is the
connection he makes between Japanese history and bonsai.
Many artists during this period focused on theater,
beautiful women, and history.
While all excellent options, the added element
introduced by Shogetsu makes his work some of the most