Artist: Ohara Koson (小原古邨) / Shōson (祥邨)

Print: Cockatoo and pomegranate (Ōmu to zakuro - おうむとざくろ)

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Dates: circa 1927 - 1980,created
Dimensions: 10.2 in,15.3 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Shōson (祥邨)

Related links: Harvard Art Museums; San Diego Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Adachi Museum of Art; Rijksmuseum;

Physical description:

The Cockatoo and Pomegranate is Shōson's most famous image "...first printed in 1927 in an edition of three hundred but reprinted many times. Cockatoos were not uncommon in Edo-period art: Itō Jakuchu (1716-1800) alone made at least four paintings of them. The combination of the cockatoo and pomegranate, however, was new as was the striking juxtaposition of the cockatoo's white feathers against the black background and the submotif of the green leaves and ruby-colored pomegranate, flower and cocatoo's tongue. Shōson's cockatoo, with its embossed feathers, may have been inspired by Yoshida's Salmon-crested Cockatoo... from a series of four drawings made at the zoo. The embossing of the feathers and most notably the goma-zuri background show his adoption of techniques common in Watanabe's studio."

Qutoed from: Shin-Hanga: New Prints in Modern Japan, p. 56. This passage is accompanied by a small colored reproduction.


This print is from a later edition. Originally printed in ca. 1927.

There is a similar print by Shōson in the Brooklyn Museum. And there are other copies of this print in the Adachi Ward Museum (足立 区立郷土博物館所蔵), Tokyo, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Chrysler Museum and the Joseph Schnitzler Museum of Art at the University of Portland.



1) in black and white in Japanese Woodblock Prints: Tourist Library vol. 10 by Shizuya Fujikake, 1953 edition, p, 92.

2) in black and white in 'The Reception of Ohara Koson’s kachōga in North America in the 1930s' (小原古邨の花鳥版画について : 1930年代のアメリカにおける受容を中心に), by Ihara Rieko (庵原理絵子), #25.