SHOSON-KOSON (Ohara Matao—real name, Shoson or Koson were his artist’s names)
He was born in Kanazawa City, Kaga Province in 1879. He first used the artist name, “Koson”, but changed to Shoson in 1912. He was a pupil of Suzuki Kason in Tokyo and studied Japanese style painting under him. Under the direction of Ernest Fenollosa, he sent a large number of paintings to America to be sold. In 1911, he stopped designing prints and devoted himself entirely to painting.
In 1926, Watanabe, the publisher, asked him to begin printmaking again, using flowers and birds, which were his favorite subjects. Koson’s love of nature shows in the beautiful prints for which he is justly famous. His editions were primarily 200 impressions, with rare editions of 100 or 300 impressions.
He died in 1945. His works were exhibited in the Special Exhibition of Japanese Prints in the Toledo Museum, Toledo, Ohio, in 1930 and 1936.