These two prints (Ryuji 01a and 01b), identical in the main subject, but with a different background, are present in the Muller collection (Freer & Sackler Collection, Washington, USA), attributed to Ogura Ryuson.

A similar specimen (Ryuji 01b) was presented by the Zacke Gallery, Wienna, in 1993, attributed to Takaharu.

Although the signature is legible as Ryuji, Takaharu or Takaji “隆 治” according to Japanese collector Tosh Doi or as Ryuson from Shimizu Motoko of the Freer & Sackler Collection (Washington, USA), this subject cannot be attributed to Ogura Ryuson, active around the 1880 at the time of Kiyochika and Yasuji.

The style, the writing “Made in Japan” and the number “# 486” on the back, typical of Watanabe Shozaburo and, above all, the seal which corresponds to the bull with the erect head (Sōzan seal type 21), suggests to me that Ryuji is nothing but a “house name” of Ito Sozan.


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