Japan art and Goyō Hashiguchi (1880-1921)
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Japanese artist Goyō Hashiguchi (1880-1921) belongs to the Meiji and Taisho Periods of history. Hence, during the Taisho Period (1912-1926), the shin hanga (new prints) art form impacted Goyō naturally.
Shin hanga was a revivalist art movement within the legacy of ukiyo-e. However, the subject themes were more narrow than ukiyo-e. Also, the international commercial angle of the early twentieth century was a million miles from the past internal angle of ukiyo-e.
Goyō utilizes graphite on paper to sketch elegant-looking ladies in the art above. The sketches by Goyō are extremely stunning – because the beauty depicted is done via a natural scene.
In the art below, in complete contrast, the working horse faces a long journey ahead. However, the one positive note is the horse blanket which protects a little from the rain. Yet, the horse faces a long road ahead under difficult foot conditions.
In his mid-twenties, Goyō designed many books and utilized quality illustrations. He did book covers for Kyoka Izumi, Nagai Kafu, Uchida Roan, Futabatei Shimei, Morita Sohei, Natsume Soseki, and Jun’ichiro Tanizaki.
Goyō did shin hanga in the late stages of his life. However, he didn’t produce so many because he died relatively young.
Goyō’s shin hanga is highly acclaimed by art lovers. Thus despite his short life – and only focusing on shin hanga for a short period – Goyō’s legacy in this art field remains potent.
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