Artist: Kitano Tsunetomi (北野恒富)

Print: Heron Maiden (Sagi Musume - 鷺娘)

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Dates: 1925,created
Dimensions: 14.25 in,21.25 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Tsunetomi hitsu (恒富筆)
Publisher: Nezu Seitarō (根津清太郎)
Printer: Matsuno Kassui (摺松野活水)
Carved by: Chōkoku: Yamana Yoshimitsu
Seal at bottom center: Go...dai
'Not numbered'

Related links: Harvard Art Museums; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Freer/Sackler Galleries; Art Gallery of New South Wales;

Physical description:

Around 1925, Tsunetomi's most famous woodblock print, Heron Maiden (Sagi musume), was published by Nezu Seitaro in a limited edition of 100 prints. Featuring a striking silvery mica background and gofun snowflakes, this print is a masterpiece of minimalist design. The carved lines in the woman's clothing and face capture the spontaneous quality of Tsunetomi's original brushstrokes while the rather stark colors - primarily white, gray, and black, punctuated by small areas of bright red - underscore both the feeling of winter and the other-worldliness of the subject matter.

This information is taken from Hanga Gallery.


"Wraith prints" such as this were made in the few years immediately following the great earthquake of of 1923. The women represent ideals of ethereal beauty and self sacrifice as direct contrast to prints of more modern, physical, and realistic women ("moga"). - K. Brown

During the 1980s, the Japanese publisher Ishukankokai recarved the blocks for Heron Maiden and issued a posthumous edition, also limited to 100 prints - publisher information is printed in the left margin in this later edition.


Illustrated in black and white in 近代日本美人画展 : 伝統木版画を支えた作家たち Exhibition of Modern Japanese Beauties: Meiji, Taishō, Shōwa, Riccar Art Museum, 1982, n.p., no. 64.


There is another copy of this print in the St. Louis Museum of Art.