Japan Art and Koizumi Kishio: Sosaku Hanga and War

Japan Art and Koizumi Kishio: Sosaku Hanga and War

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Koizumi Kishio (1893-1945) was born in the Meiji Period. Sadly, he witnessed the nationalist period of the early Showa Period and the destruction of the Pacific War. Indeed, he died in 1945 after being forced to leave Tokyo because of the carpet bombing by America.

However, when viewing the art of Koizumi, it is hard to imagine the period of history he belonged to despite minor details in some prints. Accordingly, tranquility and beauty replace the tragedies unleashed by nationalism.

The British Museum says, “He is best known for his series ‘Showa dai Tokyo hyakkei zue’ (One Hundred Views of Great Tokyo in the Showa Era)... He was forced to leave Tokyo by the Pacific War, and died in Saitama in 1945 before he could return.”

Koizumi produced many stunning sosaku hanga (creative prints). Hence, similar to other sosaku hanga printmakers, he also studied Western watercolor art. Therefore, Ishi Hakutei (1882-1958) and Maruyama Banka (1867-1942) helped to develop Koizumi’s art style.

One can only imagine the sadness of Koizumi after being forced to leave Tokyo to escape the carpet bombing of this city. Indeed, while suffering from health problems, Koizumi was also pained about the destruction of places he depicted in his art.

He passed away in 1945 and never returned to Tokyo.

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