Japan Art and Oda Kazuma: Taisho Period

Japan Art and Oda Kazuma: Taisho Period

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Oda Kazuma (1882-1956) was born during the Meiji Period (1868-1912) of Japanese history. However, all three art pieces in this article were completed during the late Taisho Period (1912-1926).

He focused heavily on lithographs throughout his life. Also, he was multi-dimensional concerning the world of printmaking in Japan. Accordingly, the world of ukiyo-e that modernized in the 20th century via shin hanga (new prints) and sôsaku hanga (creative prints) – impacted his artistic soul.

The Art Institute Chicago (image below) says,  “In 1923, Tokyo was devastated by the Great Kanto earthquake. Despite the destruction caused by this natural disaster, the city developed at an astounding rate over the next few decades. During this period, a number of printmakers documented their impressions of the city’s ruin and rebirth. This modern urban landscape became a favorite subject for artists such as Oda Kazuma (1882–1956), a lithographer who portrayed Tokyo’s crowded streets and nighttime attractions.” 

Kawamura Kiyo-o (1852-1934) taught Western-style art to Oda Kazuma – while his brother (Oda Tôu) taught him the intricacies of lithography.

He often portrayed the modernization of his native Tokyo. Hence, this gifted individual takes you back in time. Also, his love of printmaking and lithographs are a distinctive combination.

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