Reader Collection > Exhibitions > Domesticated Flowers and Birds in Japanese Art














Some plant and bird species have been domesticated by humans because they provide food or entertainment (e.g., garden ornamentals, pets). These domesticated species are well represented in the flower-bird art of Japan, as shown in Table 1.


Table 1: Number of domesticated and non-domesticated plant and bird species appearing in Japanese flower-bird art.




Plant Species

675 (72%)

269 (28%)

Bird Species

105 (28%)

270 (72%)

It is perhaps not surprising that a large number of domesticated plants and birds were chosen for depiction by Japanese artists because they would be easier to study and draw than their wild counterparts. Ten pictures of domesticated plants and ten pictures of domesticated birds are included in this exhibition, chosen from pictures in the Reader Collection of Japanese Flower and Bird Art. For each picture the following information is provided: species depicted, artist’s name, picture type (i.e., painting or print), book title and publishing date (if any).










1   Tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa ) by Nisaburō Itō, woodblock print, 280 x 290 mm











2   Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum makinoi) by Kensui Sano, painting, 240 x 270 mm











3   Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and cockscomb (Celosia cristata) by Renjō Hitomi, woodblock print, 300 x 240 mm, included in Meika Gafu (i.e., Picture Album by Celebrated Artists) edited by Naosaburō Yamada and published in 1913.











4   Blue passionflower (Passiflora caerulea) by Bairei Kōno, woodblock print, 240 x 360 mm, included in Bairei Kachō  Gafu (i.e., Picture Album of Flowers and Birds by Bairei), 1899.











5   Indian chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum indicum) by Nisaburō Itō, woodblock print, 300 x 450 mm











6   Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) by Kyōzō Yamada, woodblock print, 330 x 440 mm











7   Camellia (Camellia japonica) by Shōtei Takahashi, woodblock print, 75 x 55 mm











8   Hardy begonia (Begonia grandis) by Koson Ohara, woodblock print, 190 x 360 mm











9   Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) by Issui Ogino, woodblock print, 270 x 190 mm, included in Zuan Hyakudai (i.e., One Hundred Decorative Designs), 1910.











10   Grape (Vitis vinifera) by Masaru Aoyagi, screenprint, 360 x 470 mm











11   Java sparrow (Padda oryzivora), Fisher's lovebird (Agapornis fischeri), budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) and albino Java sparrow (Padda oryzivora) by Shirō Kasamatsu, woodblock print, 275 x 405 mm











12   Canary (Serinus canaria) by Hakushu Miura, woodblock print, 130 x 195 mm











13   Rock dove (Columba livia) by Koji Shini, woodblock print, 245 x 325 mm











14   Hawk (Accipiter sp.) by Kaoru Saitō, intaglio print, 440 x 520 mm











15   Yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua suphurea) by Koson Ohara, woodblock print, 275 x 370 mm











16   Derbyan parakeet (Psittacula derbiana) by Toyonari Yamamura, woodblock print, 390 x 270 mm











17   Domestic fowl (Gallus gallus) by Takashi Hirose, woodblock print, 225 x 200 mm











18   Long-tailed finch (Phoephila acuticauda), Gouldian finch (Chloebia gouldiae), diamond firetail (Stagonopleura guttata), female Gouldian finch (Chloebia gouldiae) and Java sparrow (Padda oryzivora) by Masayoshi Kawa, screenprint, 240 x 260 mm











19   Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) by Hideo Yoshihara, lithograph, 320 x 450











20   Blue bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea rudolphi) by Bairei Kōno, woodblock print, 240 x 360 mm, included in Bairei Kachō  Gafu (i.e., Picture Album of Flowers and Birds by Bairei), 1899.




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