Japan Art and the Moon

Japan Art and the Moon

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Okuyama Gihachiro (1907-1981) was born in the late Meiji Period (1868-1912). Above, he produced a lovely print in the 1950s of a bright moonlight that works in tandem with a stunning weeping cherry tree.

Kosaka Gajin taught Gihachiro the fundamentals of art. However, nobody could foresee the financial convulsions from the Wall Street Crash in 1929, the deteriorating relations between America and Japan, and ultimately the war. Therefore, with America being an important market for Japanese prints, many Japanese artists suffered alongside ordinary people.

The above print is by Kawase Hasui (1883-1957). He belongs to the world of Shin-Hanga (New Prints).

The Sompo Museum of Art says, “Hasui was inspired by breezes and spent his days traveling with the sun, clouds, and rain, painting the scenery of all four seasons of Japan. This was also a journey to seek the scenery of old times.

Above is a lovely print by Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858) – who inspired impressionists from all over the northern hemisphere.

The British Museum says, “…He continued to excel at views of famous places throughout his career and managed to express in great detail the poetic sensibility inherent in the climate and topography of Japan and the people who lived there…”

All three prints in this article focus on the moon – and the depiction of tranquility.

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