Koitsu and Doi

Home page

Watanabe seals

Doi seals

Other publishers





Dubious distinctions


Here's the landmark posting from our own hero, Dr. Andreas Grund:

"Repeatedly...the question has come up how to determine when a Tsuchiya Koitsu print was made. With the valuable assistance of my Japanese secretary I had the chance now to get additional helpful information from Mrs. Doi (widow of Eiichi Doi). It was nice to hear from hear that her father in law, Teiichi Doi (she confirmed, the name is pronounced Teiichi, not Sadaichi, although the writing in Japanese characters is the same) opened a print shop in San Francisco, Ca., already in 1903. He returned to Tokyo in the 20s and had his business first in Ueno, opposite to the Matsuya Department Store, later he relocated to Tokyo's Akasaka district. After the death of her husband in 1996, Mrs. Doi moved the print shop to Ishikawa, around 15 miles east of Tokyo, where she has also her residence. She was never involved in the print business, considering her age she works now hard to keep the print shop running, assisted by some employees.

"Doi published around 100 prints of Koitsu, all blocks were carved by Harada and are still kept for future reprints. First printer was Yokoi, who acted until "around Showa 20", which is 1945. Yokoi was succeeded by Seki, who was printer until Heisei 5 (1993). From then on and still today, Hamano is the printer of Koitsu's works. Only a few Koitsu prints were published with Ito as printer, this happened in the 30s and early 40s.

"Seki is still alive, however Harada and Yokoi are already dead. Mrs. Doi is not aware of any book or major publication on Koitsu.

"Mrs. Doi doesn't remember how many different publisher seals were in use, it is also unknown, when the seals changed from Teiichi Doi to Eiichi Doi. In contrast to the practice at Watanabe, where in the case of Hasui the round 6mm seal was replaced by the 7mm Watanabe seal after the death of Hasui, such a method was not applied for Doi's Koitsu prints. As to Mrs. Doi, even her husband was not always able to distinguish a posthumous print from an early original.

"Let me summarize: All prints with Yokoi or Ito as printer are genuine and made clearly during the life time of Koitsu, however, it seems difficult to distinguish between first, second and further editions. Postwar prints with Seki as printer are considered originals if made before 1949, the year Koitsu died. Posthumous prints from the period 1949-1993 also carry Seki as printer. The Hamano made prints definitely are late prints and [ may affect the value ] for the serious collector."

Except as noted, the original content herein is the property of
The Shin Hanga Skull & Bones Society (TM).
Copyright 1999-2004. All rights reserved.