Japan Art and Kumamoto

Japan Art and Kumamoto

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tomikichiro Tokuriki was born in Kyoto and died in a ripe old age. He came from a long line of family artists – going back hundreds of years.

In the print above, he focuses on the Aso Shinto Shrine in the prefecture of Kumamoto. This Shinto shrine is one of the oldest in the land of the rising sun – and holds important cultural, historical, and religious properties. However, the earthquakes that hit Kumamoto in 2016 damaged several parts of this religious compound.

Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) – like all the art pieces in this article – focuses on the natural beauty of Kumamoto in the print above. He belongs to the intriguing world of Shin-Hanga (New Prints).

The Museum of Art (MOA) says, “Kawase Hasui (1883–1957) initially studied painting under Kaburagi Kiyotaka, but sensational landscape woodcuts by Ito Shinsui changed the course of his career forever, to become a painter specializing in woodblock designs.”

In the above print by Tomikichiro Tokuriki, he focuses on Kumamoto Castle. His print is delightful simplicity.

The British Museum says, “… he changed to woodblock printing under the influence of Hiratsuka Un’ichi and began to contribute to the early print magazine ‘Han’. He was a member of Nihon Hanga Kyokai from 1932, and active in promoting ‘Sosaku Hanga’ in Kyoto.”

The last print by Kawase Hasui highlights the importance of Kumamoto Castle – similar to Tomikichiro Tokuriki. Overall, both artists provide a glimpse into the richness and beauty of Kumamoto through the prism of art.

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