American Wood Cock

NakamizoFuji - American Woodcock.JPG
FujiNakamizo - American Woodcock.JPG

Dublin Core



A pair of woodcocks is pictured somewhat outside of their preferred grassy habitat, beside a cozy opening in a tree trunk. Although they often are associated with spring, the presence of freshly fallen leaves seems to indicate a moment just prior to their migration away from this scene. Hand-written at the bottom of the watercolor are Nakamizo’s poetic words: “A game bird that is not distrubed by the agriculture. Bird would come silently some April night, and from it then would disappear some October.”

About the Artist: Born in Fukui Prefecture, Japan, Nakamizo—whose name sometimes was spelled “Fugi”—immigrated to the US in 1907, living in Grand Rapids, MI and working as a decorator. He later moved to New York and studied at the Art Students League with Frank DuMond and Joseph Pennell. During the early 1920s, he appears to have created an etching of the medical researcher Dr. Hideyo Noguchi that hung in the Nippon Club, New York (Piper). By the 1930s he was fairly well known, especially for his etchings of birds, and exhibited at places like the League Gallery (1933), Montross Gallery (1934), the Brooklyn Museum (1935), the Art Institute of Chicago (1935); and the Carl Fischer Gallery (1936). In 1936 he contributed photographs and illustrations to feminist author Baroness Shidzue Ishimoto’s East Way, West Way: A Modern Japanese Girlhood. In 1943, Nakamizo’s etching “Emblem of Strength and Courage” was chosen for a national exhibition sponsored by the group Artists for Victory; this painting of an American eagle surrounded by warplanes may have been ironic, since some sources place him at a Japanese internment camp during World War II. 2 works at Smithsonian American Art Museum. 3 works at Lowe Art Museum. 6 works at Queens Library. 1 work at the National Gallery of Art. 6 more images at FAP.

Sources Consulted: Jean Piper, “Scientist Acts Like Human Dynamo,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle 6 Mar. 1927: 85; Ellen G. Landau, Artists for Victory: An Exhibition Catalog (Library of Congress, 1983).


Nakamizo, Fuji, 1889-1950








Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Watercolor painting

Physical Dimensions

13 x 21 in.
Condition: surface dirt, scratched slightly