Japan Art and Henmi Takashi: Son of Wakayama

Japan Art and Henmi Takashi: Son of Wakayama

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The artist Henmi Takashi (1895-1944) was born in Wakayama in the highly cultured region of Kansai. Hence, the richness of Koyasan, Kyoto, Nara, and Negoro-ji impacted his early upbringing.

Koyasan and Negoro-ji are located in Wakayama prefecture. Accordingly, despite Henmi Takashi studying in Tokyo- and developing important artistic links – the print above entails a nostalgia for the countryside.

The British Museum says, “This artist was typical of the good amateurs who produced much of the work of the ‘Sosaku Hanga’ movement up to 1945. Their talents were brought out by the relative ease of the medium as used by the movement and the encouragement generously provided by its major figures, especially Onchi and Hiratsuka. 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 was inspired by Tanaka Kyokichi (1892-1915), who was also born in Wakayama. Tragically, Tanaka Kyokichi was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1913. Therefore, he died very young after returning to Wakayama from Tokyo.

A sense of melancholy can be found in the prints of Henmi Takashi.

Remarkably – given his atmospheric and thought-provoking style – he had to survive economically outside printmaking and art.

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