Ogata Gekko gekko portrait Postcards

Gekko produced images for a number of original postcards, with several more postcards being produced using images taken from prior work, possibly posthumously. The original images that do not appear elsewhere in his work are all around traditional themes, and he certainly used similar themes in some of his paintings. The printing is of high quality with metallic overprinting on a number of the cards. The other known postcards are also of considerable interest, there is a reproduction of the image of Teragyo found in his Zuihitsu series although the sharp eyed will note that the signature and seal are in a different location, a card with his well known image of a hare or rabbit, an image of what appear to be two paintings with a caption reading 'Shinokosho no zu Ogata Gekko hitsu', (the Shinokosho being the 4 divisions of society ie samurai, farmers, artisans, and merchants) and also an image of a young lady at her studies captioned 'Showing what it was like at Tokyo Women's School in 1886'. This last postcard was actually issued as part of a set of four in 1955 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Ochanomizu Women's University. It is not known by the University where the image originates from, it is certainly quite an unusual one for Gekko, particularly if we assume it was drawn in the second half of the 1880's.

Dating these postcards is difficult, those depicting traditional themes do not have a centre dividing line on the reverse, a feature that appears on Japanese postcards from 1907 onwards. Most appear to have the same publisher and the seal is one that appears commonly on Gekko's work from around the turn of the 20th century. The remaining postcards all have the 'split back' feature suggesting post 1907.

Lion dance postcard


bird with umbrella


snow maiden postcard


festive offerings postcard


lady with servant postcard


catching tadpoles postcard




Kami Mai


Ohagi fan pattern


fireworks postcard








1955 postcard