Japan Art and New Tokyo: Sakuichi Fukazawa (1928-1932) and the Mirage

Japan Art and New Tokyo: Sakuichi Fukazawa (1928-1932) and the Mirage

Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Sakuichi Fukazawa (1896–1947) was born during the intense Meiji Period (1868-1912) – which focused on rapid economic development. Social convulsions naturally followed, especially in major cities. Therefore, the art world was no different concerning ideas, styles, outside Western influence, technology, the increasing power of photography, and other mediums that challenged the old ways.

The One Hundred Views of New Tokyo (1928-1932) was achieved and finalized by several artists – during the early Showa Period. Hence, the collective prints by Maekawa Senpan, Un’ichi Hiratsuka, Kawakami Sumio, Koshiro Onchi, Henmi Takashi, Suwa Kanenori, Sakuichi Fukazawa, and Fujimori Shizou work a treat because they highlight Tokyo from many dimensions.

The British Museum says, “Fukazawa was born in Niigata Prefecture, but his parents moved soon after to Tokyo, where he attended Tokyo Central School of Commerce and Industry.”

It is difficult to imagine that the Pacific War (World War Two) would soon engulf so many countries. Accordingly, death and destruction from China to Yugoslavia – and for Tokyo, horrendous carpet bombing in a war of countless massacres.

In this sense, the One Hundred Views of New Tokyo (1928-1932) is like a mirage. Hence, the fading influence of the Edo Period is firmly in the background, while it is also difficult to imagine the convulsions of the Pacific War that would soon be witnessed.

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