Japan Art and Heavy Rain: The Storm and Working Poor

Japan Art and Heavy Rain: The Storm and Working Poor

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Takahashi Shōtei (Hiroaki) was born in the early Meiji Period. He died sadly during the last year of the war in 1945 – not knowing the future of Japan.

Accordingly, the print by Shōtei above was a literal storm for hundreds of millions of people impacted by the convulsions of war during the final years of his life.

The print above is by Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858). He inspired impressionists from all over the Northern Hemisphere.

In all three prints, the working poor continue to work outside despite the heavy rain and the brutal storm depicted by Shōtei.

Sadly, in modern Japan, the rights of the working poor are getting worse after reforms introduced “the flexibility of labor” – aka, the exploitation of labor hidden by words. Accordingly, temporary work is on the rise, the gig economy (no rights), the exploitation of elderly workers, and countless millions of women are nothing more than cheap labor in Japan.

The final print is by Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915). He is famous for utilizing scenes connected to dawn, dusk, and nightfall. Therefore, many atmospheric art pieces are entailed by Kiyochika.

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