These woodblock prints are from the series Rankafu (A Record of an Orchid Collection), which was commissioned by adamant orchid cultivator and enthusiast Kaga Shôtarô during the early 20th century. Kaga had fallen in love with orchids years before in 1917 while mountaineering in Java. Due to the economic hardships placed on Japan after losing the Second World War, Kaga was concerned about the survival of his orchid collection in Kyoto at his Villa Oyamazaki, which at its peak had housed 10,000 plants. Kaga selected woodblock printing as the appropriate method to capture the memory of his orchids. He enlisted the skilled painter Ikeda Zuigetsu, to execute this momentous task. Ikeda created the drawings from which the woodblocks were carved. Sadly, Zuigetsu passed away in 1944 before the completion of the project, and due to Kaga’s falling fortune after the war, only 83 works were printed. Kaga managed to publish three hundred copies, many of which were sent to various scientific institutions such as botanical gardens and universities all over the world. Recently a reprint of the original edition has been released in Japan.