figure of a mother feeding her child with chopsticks was made around
1903 by Udagawa Kazuo.
Our knowledge of this artist is very limited, but he seems to have
belonged to the 'romantic' school of realism, part of the Tokyo
school. These 'romantics' specialized in figures of working people
looking happy, prosperous and well-nourished, an image not well
based in reality and sometimes verging on the sentimental.
The piece is made from cast bronze and wood. Bronze is an alloy
of copper and tin, cast by running molten bronze into a mould. This
artist probably used piece-moulds that cannot have been destroyed
in the casting process as more than one sculpture was made.
The subject of the piece is obviously reminiscent of the European
iconography of “mother and child”. It nevertheless shows marked
differences from the western tradition, such as the use of chopsticks,
the bento box from which she is feeding the baby and the dress of