Hello everyone and welcome to my article on Kacho-ga or Kacho-e. In this article, I will talk about the Kacho-ga or Kacho-e, his history, his main artists and beautiful woodblock prints of this sub-genre of Ukiyo-e.
Please, enjoy your reading and don’t hesitate to comment. If I made any mistake, I will do my best to correct it as quickly as possible.
- Kacho-ga definition
- Etymology of Kacho-ga
- The origins of Kacho-ga
- In China, we go.
- Famous artist of the Kacho-ga style
- Hokusai, the grand kacho-ga master
- Keisai Eisen
- Hiroshige II
- Hiroshige III
- Utagawa Kuniyoshi
2. Kacho-ga definition
Kacho-ga is a Japanese art sub-genre of Ukiyo-e which depicts birds and flowers; Ukiyo-e describing bird, flower, fish or insects and natural scenery can be included in the Kacho-ga genre.
The word Kacho-ga can be found in multiple orthography, such as Kachoga, Kachō-ga or Kachōga. The kanji “画” reading “ga” can also be found in another form for this word which is “絵” reading “e”. Therefore, there is also the word Kacho-e which is referring to Kacho-ga, they are the same thing, just a different etymology for the same designation of this ukiyo-e art style.
3. Etymology of Kacho-ga
In Japanese the word “Kacho-ga” is written like this:
As you can see this word is composed of 3 characters (3 kanjis):
- The first kanji is 花 which means “flower” and his reading is “ka”.
- The second kanji is 鳥 which means “bird” and his reading is “cho” or “chō”.
- The third kanji is 画 which means “picture” and his reading is “ga”.
4. The origins of Kacho-ga
In China, we go.
Kacho-ga origins comes from the Chinese culture of the 10th century. During this period, there was two famous Chinese artists known for their bird and flower paintings, Huang Quan 哳㥳 (900–965) and Xu Xi 徐熙 (937–975).
Famous artist of the Kacho-ga style
Hokusai, the grand kacho-ga master
When you do an article about kacho-ga, you have to talk about Katsushika Hokusai, one of the most famous ukiyo-e artist. He is not just famous in japan, but a worldwide star. I will present some of his works which most people outside of japan does not know, for the simple reason that The Great Wave off Kanagawa or Fine Wind, Clear Morning of Mount fuji eclipsed his other works (only in my opinion).
So, to get it out of the way, I will first talk about the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji which is a well known ukiyo-e series representing mount fuji from different point of view and sceneries.
Now, I will present you some ukiyo-e of hokusai in the kacho-ga genre with the most impressive flowers.
Keisai Eisen is a contemporary of Hokusai, he is an ukiyo-e master known for his bijin-ga style with their enormous head. Also, his main style is not kachoga, but he did draw some flowers and birds.
Utagawa Hiroshige is a famous ukiyo-e artist which is considered the last ukiyo-e grand master before the decline of the genre. He is famous for his landscape series, such as The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō.
The difference between these two ukiyo-e masters (Hokusai and Hiroshige) are the more subtle colors and poetic approach of Hiroshige.
Hiroshige II inherited the name of his former master after his death and his marriage with his master daughter. His work and style are really close to his master, therefore, the scholars have difficulties to differentiate their works.
Utagawa Hiroshige III was also a student of Hiroshige, he took the name of hiroshige III after marring the daughter of his master which divorced with hiroshige II. His style was also very close to his master, yet he didn’t know the same success.
Here is the part about the very prolific Utagawa Kuniyoshi, he draw a vast variety of ukiyo-e, but here we will focus on his kacho-ga work.
Here you have it, I have presented to you some of the kacho-ga artist. But, there are a lot of them out there, therefore, I have hand picked today’s list. I hope you enjoyed it.
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