Japan art and Inoue Yasuji: Art of Tokyo

Japan art and Inoue Yasuji: Art of Tokyo

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Inoue Yasuji (1864-1889) produced stunning art. However, he sadly died when in his mid-twenties. Therefore, one can only imagine the heights he would have reached if life had been kinder.

In the first art piece, cherry blossoms are fitting. After all, they bloom and soon die. Thus this lovely art piece by Yasuji resembles a certain aspect of his short life.

The art pieces in this article depict Tokyo during the Meiji Period (1868-1912). Above is the religious area of Asakusa, which continues to attract people in modern Tokyo.

In old Tokyo, the cherry blossoms in the first art piece (Cherry Blossoms – Mukojima) attracted people in vast numbers. Many got excursion boats and visited via the Sumida River in the environs of Asakusa.

The Ota Memorial Museum of Art says, “Ukiyo-e artists such as Inoue Yasuji (1864-89) and Ogura Ryūson (date of birth and death unknown) followed after Kiyochika. Although the popularity of ray painting lasted only five years, it developed new possibilities for woodblock prints, and it should be regarded as the forerunner of the genre of “shin-hanga” (new prints) in the Taisho and Showa eras that have been the focus of much attention in recent years…”

Kiyochika Kobayashi (1847-1915) taught Yasuji the intricacies of art. His mentor was famous for utilizing scenes connected to dawn, dusk, and nightfall. Therefore, Kiyochika became crestfallen when Yasuji passed away – at such a young age.

The art piece above depicts the delightful Shinto Shrine in Nezu. Hence, the richness of Yasuji’s art at such a young age is obvious. His legacy remains concerning the stunning art he produced.


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