Japan Art and Maekawa Senpan: Mount Bandai and Plum Trees

Japan Art and Maekawa Senpan: Mount Bandai and Plum Trees

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The esteemed Japanese artist Maekawa Senpan (1888-1960) developed from oil painting to eventually finding a lovely niche via the sosaku hanga (creative prints) print movement.

He studied oil painting under several instructors. The most notable being the acclaimed Asai Chū. Accordingly, he was open to new ideas and not afraid to change artistically.

The British Museum says, “He studied at the Kansai Bijutsuin from 1905, at first with Asai Chu (1856-1907), and moved to Tokyo in 1911 where he began his long career as a cartoonist on the magazine ‘Tokyo Puck’. In Tokyo he was inspired by Minami Kunzo (1883-1950) to take up self-carved woodblock printing…”

Mount Bandai is the first print in this article by Maekawa. As usual, he highlights the natural beauty of this mountain range – in the prefecture of Fukushima. However, Maekawa does this in his unique style and by adopting a lovely color coordination – with the farmer looking on.

The last two prints highlight plum trees. Overall, the simplistic nature of the prints is enhanced by his individualism.

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