Japan Art and Henmi Takashi (1895-1944)

Japan Art and Henmi Takashi (1895-1944)

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

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The Japanese artist Henmi Takashi (1895-1944) couldn’t make a living from his art. Hence, his income from his main job provided money for Henmi to focus on art and poetry – during his free time.

His close friends Tanaka Kyokichi (1892-1915) and Ote Takuji (1887-1934) died when young – notably, Tanaka. Thus Henmi felt a sense of moroseness after losing both friends. One can imagine the art and poetry angles to their respective friendships and how they inspired each other.

The British Museum says, “Henmi was born in Wakayama and was inspired to make prints by the example of Tanaka Kyokichi (1892-1915), a poet and artist from the same city, who collaborated with Onchi on the poetry and art magazine ‘Tsukuhae’ (1914-15)… He decided to make his living as an accountant in Tokyo so as to pursue prints and poetry in his spare time… Four of his prints were shown in the Paris exhibition of 1934 organized by Hasegawa Kiyoshi. He is best known for his thirteen contributions to ‘One Hundred New Views of Tokyo’, marked like much of his work by a gently atmospheric style, with generally lonely figures in townscapes…”

Henmi produced stunning art despite being unable to focus on art in a full-time capacity – and having lesser artistic freedom. In several of his art pieces, you feel a sense of melancholy. However, this melancholy is overcome by his elegant art style.

Overall, Henmi produced many exquisite art pieces that are lovely to view.

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