Japan Art and Kawatsura Yoshio: Buddhism and Twilight

Japan Art and Kawatsura Yoshio: Buddhism and Twilight

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Kawatsura Yoshio (Negoro Raizan – artist’s name) was born during the dynamic Meiji Period (1868-1912). All three prints were produced in the early 1920s during the Taisho Period (1912-1926).

Above is the Asakusa Buddhist temple in Tokyo. The snow-filled environment and the spiritual dimension fuse naturally in this lovely print.

In the print above is a stunning Buddhist pagoda. The rain is lashing it down – and one can imagine people caught up in the thunderstorm. However, unlike the storm of life, the Buddhist pagoda appears permanent.

The Tendai Buddhist monk Jien (1155-1225) was a poet and historian. He wrote:

Though I search
Every field
Overlooking nothing,
All the flowers are but
The flower of the law

The final print is twilight. However, in this print, no Buddhist angle exists.

Many of his prints were destroyed during the Great Kantō Earthquake in 1923. Also, very little is known about the life of Kawatsura Yoshio. Therefore, only his art is a reminder of his life.

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