The (In)Complete Woodblock Prints of Takahashi Shôtei



Enter the Catalog of Print Images

PLEASE NOTE: This version of the catalog of Takahashi Shôtei's print images has been discontinued, replaced by an updated version. It is being temporarily retained on-line until June 30, 2015, at which time it will be permanently removed from

Any questions, please get in touch with Marc Kahn to discuss.

About the Catalog

These pages are an attempt to catalog all of Takahashi Shôtei's print images. There are as many as 750 images to capture, and this effort may never be completed. To my knowledge, this has never been done before for this artist. That's why it's worth doing.

The images contained in these pages have been gathered from many sources, including books, online galleries, and individual collectors. The "Not Yet Available" images are for prints which have been referred to in one of my reference books. The titles have been included; hopefully the images will show up someday.

Your help is needed

If you are able to find any new images, or to add information, please let me know. It would be nice to get color images of the ones which are currently in black/white.

In order to add a print to the catalog, here is what I would like to get from you:

  • A digital image file (jpg is preferred) of the print which is at least 480 pixels on the longer side.
  • A high resolution close-up view of the seal, title and signature.
  • The dimensions of the image (not the paper) in centimeters.
  • Any other information that you might have about the print.

Catalog numbering scheme

Since it is very difficult to date these prints, the numbering scheme is based on on print size. Within print size, the order in which each print is listed in the 1936 Watanabe catalog is used for the oban and mitsugiri-ban formats, to determine the order in which each was added to the catalog. Otherwise, the numbering is determined upon when the print was added to this catalog.

O-1 through O-50 are for oban (about 15" x 10") or larger prints published by Watanabe.
O-51 + are for oban or larger prints published by Fusui Gabo.
C-x are for chuban size prints (about 10" x 7").
M-x are for mitsugiri-ban size prints (about 15" x 6").
P-x are for pillar prints (about 15" x 3")
S-x are for smaller size prints.
ST-x are for smaller size prints published by Shobido Tanaka.

Detail information


Titles are tricky. There are many sources of titles, some of which are made up by people trying to describe the print. Most of Shôtei's prints have a Japanese title above the artist's seal. Many times, the title in Watanabe's catalog is completely different from the title on the print. It is a problem for a cataloger to determine which title to use without being arbitrary. This cataloger is guilty of being arbitrary.

For example, print M-56 has written in Japanese "Ugawara" above the Hiroaki seal. Ugawara is a famous Japanese hot springs resort town. Watanabe's catalog gives the title, "Woman returning from bath in rain". The catalog title for this print is "Woman returning from bath".

Another example is print M-36, which has been spotted mounted to old backing paper upon which was written "Mother and child admiring the moon". The title on the print contains the words "sacred", "tree", and "time". Watanabe's catalog calls it "Moon Rising at Nokizaki; a woman and girls". However, there is only 1 child in the image. Our catalog title for this print is "Moon Rising at Nokizaki".


Since Shôtei published mostly with Watanabe, he is the listed as publisher for all prints not known to have been published by Fusui Gabo or Shobido Tanaka.


The sizes of margins can vary from copy to copy. Therefore, for the purposes of this catalog, only the dimensions of the actual image is stated, not the dimensions of the paper. The format is hh.h x ww.w where "hh.h" is the height of the print, in centimeters, and "ww.w" is the width.

There are quite a few prints in the catalog where the dimensions are not stated on the detail page, because a reliable measurement, of the image only, has not been obtained. If you are able to provide measurements for any of these, please do and they will be added to the catalog.


The great majority of Shôtei's prints, even the oban ones, don't have a date. For those that contain a printed date, it is included in the format, where yyyy is the year and mm is the month number. For those prints which don't have a date, the only clues have been whether or not a print is included in either of the 2 Watanabe catalogs for which I have copies. If a print is included in the 1936 catalog, its date is listed as <= 1936 which means that the print was originally published prior to 1936 or in that year. If a print is not in the 1936 catalog but is in the 1951 catalog, its date is listed as >= 1936.

In compiling this catalog, I have visited many on-line galleries and gone through many books. I have found that some of these sources are not shy at all about assigning dates to Shôtei's prints. Unless there is some reference that they are using, of which I am not aware, I have concluded that these dates are arbitrary guesses.

Image Sources

Andacht: "Collector's Value Guide to Japanese Woodblock Prints", Sandra Andacht, 2000 an on-line gallery
Chigasaki: "Tsuchiya Koitsu: Adoration of Scenery", Chigasaki Art Museum, 1999 an on-line gallery
Female Image: "The Female Image - 20th century prints of Japanese beauties", Hotei, 2000 an on-line gallery
Gallery Collects Shin Hanga: "The Gallery Collects Shin Hanga", Barry Till, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1996 an on-line gallery and reference source an on-line gallery an on-line gallery
JPAA 11/25/00: Catalog of the November 25, 2000, Japan Prints Sale #7 of the JPAA, in Tokyo an on-line gallery on on-line gallery an on-line gallery and auction site an on-line gallery
Mita Arts: an on-line gallery an on-line gallery
Mt Fuji: "Mt. Fuji - Sacred mountain of Japan", Chris Uhlenbeck, Hotei, 2000
Richard@ukiyo-e: an on-line gallery
Shin Hanga: "Shin-Hanga - New Prints in Modern Japan", Brown and Goodall-Cristante, 1996
The Asian Collection: an on-line auction company
The new wave: "The new wave - Twentieth-century Japanese prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection", Stephens, 1993 an on-line gallery an on-line gallery an on-line gallery an on-line gallery and reference source
Enter the Catalog of Print Images

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