Japan art and castles in the snow (Nijo Castle)

Japan art and castles in the snow (Nijo Castle)

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Japanese castles attract tourists all year round. However, something magical abounds when viewing in the snow – everything seems perfect.

These two delightful art pieces by Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) and Tomikichiro Tokuriki (1902-1999) illuminate castles to a sublime level. The second art piece by Tokuriki was completed in the 1950s – the same decade that would witness the death of Hasui.

Hasui (first art piece) was a major Shin-hanga (new prints) artist of the early 20th century who inspired many future generations.

The British Museum says, “In 1907 he began studying Western-style art, especially landscape, at the Hakuba-kai (White Horse Society) and took guidance from Okada Saburosuke (1869-1939); subsequently in 1910 he became a pupil of Kaburaki Kiyokata who gave him the art name Hasui, though the greatest influence on his style and palette was the ‘Nihonga’ painter Imamura Shiko (1880-1916).”

Tokuriki (art piece above) was born in the cultural city of Kyoto. He came from a long line of artists within his family – going back hundreds of years. However, throughout his artistic life, he remained open to the new currents of shin hanga and Sosaku Hanga (creative prints) woodblock prints.

In the art piece by Tokuriki, he highlights the stunning beauty of Nijo Castle (Nijo-jo Castle). The snow-filled landscape creates a delightful angle to the famous castle.

The Nijo-jo Castle website says, “Nijo-jo Castle has witnessed some of the most important events in Japanese history in the 400 years since it was built. The castle was completed in 1603 on the orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and first Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1867).”

One of his many students, Daniel Kelly, highlights the approach of Tokuriki concerning elitism and remaining attached to the world. Kelly said that Tokuriki told him, “…during the Edo period, a woodblock print was the same price as a bowl of noodles. He advised me not to be expensive, not to be elitist. He said it’s for the public because it’s printed art. Make it accessible to the world.”

https://nijo-jocastle.city.kyoto.lg.jp/?lang=en Nijo-jo Castle

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