Japan Art and Lamps from Edo to 20th Century
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (the print above) was born in the late eighteenth century during the Edo Period. He died in 1861 – shortly before the onset of rapid change in Japan witnessed by the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912).
In his delightful print, a person is utilizing a lamp. Hence, while the subject matter is mundane, the feeling of the Edo Period is conjured up. Thereby the print becomes dimensional.
The print above by Toshikata Mizuno (1866-1908) connects people with the Meiji Period. This concerns the modern feeling compared with Kuniyoshi’s print.
Above is a refined lady utilizing an outdoor lamp to read a poem. The plum tree and her stylish attire work delightfully in this print connected to the novel “Toka Eibai.”
The final print above is by Maekawa Senpan (1888-1960). He first studied oil painting under the highly acclaimed Asai Chū – and other notable instructors at the Kansai Art Academy.
Despite being born during the Meiji Period, he witnessed further modernization processes during the Taisho and Showa periods of history. Therefore, not only is the print more modern – but the old world of ukiyo-e is negated by Maekawa because he belongs to the world of sosaku hanga (creative prints).
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