Japan Art and Kawano Kaoru: Girls and Birds (Woodpeckers)

Japan Art and Kawano Kaoru: Girls and Birds (Woodpeckers)

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Kawano Kaoru (1916-1965) was born in the early Taisho Period (1912-1926). In these stunning prints – Kawano fuses birds and girls.

During World War Two, Kawano was imprisoned. Henceforth, it is easy to imagine the innocence of the girls fused with the freedom of the birds pointing to aspects of his life.

The vastness of his native Hokkaido to the contrast of his confinement during the war must have impacted his artistic nature during the war period.

In the first and third prints, woodpeckers and girls seem entwined through the prism of his art. Accordingly, Kawano’s unique style is a treasure.

Kawano belongs to the sosaku hanga (creative prints) movement. Hence, his individualism shines brightly!

The birds and the enduring beauty of the young girls contrast with the pressures Kawano faced in his lifetime. This notably concerns the war period and how this altered his thinking during the last two decades of his life.

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