Japan art and the countryside

Japan art and the countryside

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Kasamatsu Shirō (1898-1991) created stunning prints. He is tied to the early shin hanga (new prints) art movement and continued to focus on the genre throughout the Taisho Period. However, in the post-war period, he expanded and became intrigued by sosaku hanga (creative prints).

Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962), the most famous publisher and a leading figure of shin hanga prints, admired Shirō s talent concerning landscapes. Therefore, the skills he learned under Kaburaki Kiyokata (1878-1973) during his informative years – and the support of Watanabe – entailed a smooth transition when young.

The art piece above is by Takahashi Shōtei (Hiroaki). Like Shirō (the first art piece), Shōtei was also born during the Meiji Period (1868-1912) and connected to shin hanga and Watanabe.

The Takahashi Shōtei website says, “In 1907, he was recruited as the first artist for Watanabe Shozaburo. He produced many original designs in the style of the Edo-era landscapes… “

In the last art piece, the acclaimed Eiichi Kotozuka produces a stunning art piece by fusing nature and religion naturally. He was born in Osaka in 1906.

Accordingly, all three artists were born during the Meiji Period. His sōsaku hanga blessed Japan in this period of history.

It is difficult to imagine that all three artists witnessed the tragedies of war.

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