Reader Collection > Exhibitions > Japanese Bird Art, 1950 to present day Part 4 Lithographic prints by 86 artists














Lithographic printmaking was invented in Germany in the late 18th century. To make a lithographic print (also called lithograph) the design was first drawn on the surface of a smooth slab of stone using a greasy substance that would readily absorb ink. Ink was then added and a piece of paper was placed on top of the inked surface. Finally, pressure was applied using a mechanical press to transfer the ink to paper. To make a multi-colored print this process was repeated using a different stone slab for each ink color.

In Japan, lithography was first used in the late 19th century. Lithographic printing was more cost-effective than the traditional method of woodblock printing when a very large number of copies was required. After World War II Japanese artists also started to use lithography to make limited-edition art prints. From the 1950s to date about 125 Japanese artists have made limited-edition lithographs featuring birds (i.e., bird prints). Bird prints by 86 of these artists are part of the Reader Collection of Japanese Art and this virtual exhibition includes an example of the work of each of these artists. Some artists (prints 1-26) drew birds objectively (i.e., true-to-life shape and color) while others (prints 27-65) drew birds only semi-objectively. The remaining artists (prints 66-86) were more creative and totally ignored true-to-life details of a bird’s shape and color.

For each of the 86 prints the following information is given: name of the bird depicted (when identifiable), name of the artist, print title (when titled) and print size.










 1   Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) by Akio Watanabe, 550 x 440 mm





2   Daurian redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus) by Yoshiki Nonouchi, entitled bird, 420 x 340 mm









3   Great tit (Parus major) by Atsushi Uemura, entitled autumn field, 660 x 540 mm





4   Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) by Chūsaku Ōyama, 580 x 430 mm









5   Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) by Otohiko Matsumura,  570 x 430 mm




6   Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) by Akihisa Miwa, 575 x 470 mm









7   Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) by Katashi Oyama, entitled blue flying, 680 x 460 mm




8   Whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus) by Kiju Ikeda, entitled Yatsugatake journey, 480 x 350 mm









9   Narcissus flycatcher (Ficedula narcissina) by Mutsuo Kawashima, 660 x 485 mm




10   Red-billed leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea) by Hiroshi Takeyama, 550 x 430 mm









11   Great tit (Parus major) by Akira Nakanishi, entitled tits and berries, 330 x 505 mm


12   Albino Java sparrow (Padda oryzivora) by Masami Iwata, 495 x 655 mm











13   Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus) by Masao Kobayashi, 570 x 490 mm




14   Gull (Larus sp.) by Koji Kinutani, entitled seagull in Venice, 570 x 450 mm









15   Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) by Hideo Yoshihara, entitled little bird, 320 x 450 mm



16   Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) by Kunio Satō, entitled white moon, 540 x 685 mm












17   Domestic fowl (Gallus gallus) by Keiichi Kiyohara, 465 x 550 mm


18   Swan (Cygnus sp.) by Kaoru Sueki, entitled light wind,  350 x 485 mm











19   Peafowl (Pavo sp.) by Shigeru Izumi, entitled peacock, 300 x 420 mm



20   Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) by Meiji Hashimoto, 480 x 600 mm











21   Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) by Taiji Hamada, 580 x 475 mm




22   Oriental turtle-dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Junsaku Koizumi, entitled oriental turtle-dove picture, 530 x 360 mm









23   Whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus)  by Takasuke Nakayama, entitled swan, 370 x 480 mm



24   Java sparrow (Padda oryzivora) by Yoshio Itoda, entitled Java sparrow and rose, 350 x 500 mm











25   Laughing kookabura (Dacelo novaeguineae) by Masami Yamada, entitled kookaburra in eucalyptus, 615 x 500 mm




26   Green peafowl (Pavo muticus) by Sanrei Kodama, entitled green peafowl, 655 x 500 mm









27   Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) by Kazuho Hieda, 540 x 635 mm



28   Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) by Susumu Maki, entitled luxuriant, 380 x 440 mm











29   Siamese fireback pheasant (Lophura diardi), yellow-breasted magpie (Cissa hypoleuca) and Ryūkyū robin (Erithacus komadori) by Shōkō Uemura, entitled pheasant beneath the trees, 630 x 455 mm



30   Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) by Tatsuoki Ichino, entitled paired cranes, 535 x 405 mm









31   Domestic fowl (Gallus gallus) by Naondo Nakamura, 565 x 765 mm



32   Domestic fowl (Gallus gallus) by Kazumi Amano, 270 x 390 mm











33   Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) by Mirei Kodama, entitled crane month, 660 x 500 mm



34   Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) by Kunitarō Suda, 530 x 450 mm









35   Domestic fowl (Gallus gallus) by Nobuyuki Ōura, 390 x 515 mm



36   Swan (Cygnus sp.) by Iwami Furusawa, entitled LXXIV, 455 x 635 mm











37   Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) by C. Miyasaka, 345 x 500 mm


38   Albino Java sparrow (Padda oryzivora) by Hiroko Ogihara, entitled spring white, 350 x 455 mm











39   Rock dove (Columba livia) by Wasaburō Itozono, 435 x 520 mm


40   Great tit (Parus major) by Kumiko Kita, entitled lily, 380 x 505 mm











41   White-naped crane (Grus vipio) by Yasuo Kazuki, 460 x 610 mm



42   Scops owl (Otus sp.) by Tatsuhiro Kaneda, entitled owl, 440 x 560 mm











43   Cockatoo (Cacatua sp.) by Hiroshi Tada, 360 x 360 mm


44  Japanese robin (Erithacus akahige) by Hideo Kawahara, 500 x 650 mm






Artists:   1-44   45-86   or   Back to Exhibitions