Bakufu Ono was a Tokyo-based ukiyo-e printmaker who relocated to Kansai after the Great Kanto Earthquake, which left most of the city in ruins in 1923. Ono, already known for his popular landscape and fish prints, rose to fame through his series ‘The Familiar Fish of Nippon’, which was published by Kyoto Hanga-in in 1940. Harkening back to the Edo period, but unusual for the Showa era, the printing of this series was a group effort, utilising the skills of a different artist, carver, printer and publisher. Unsurprisingly, Bafuku Ono filled the role of artist in this endeavour. The blocks were carved by Matsuda and Kikuda, and were printed by Shinagawa, Nagae, Uchida and Ono himself.
While his works were never titled, unofficial titles were often given to Ono’s prints by the woodblock print community. His other accomplishments include being awarded the title of honorary member of the Hyogo Prefecture Academy of Fine Arts, as well as being part of the Taiheiyogakai school. Beyond Japanese woodblock prints, his oil paintings were exhibited at the great Teiten exhibition in 1929.