Japan Art and Tsuchiya Kōitsu: Lakes in Early Showa Era

Japan Art and Tsuchiya Kōitsu: Lakes in Early Showa Era

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tsuchiya Kōitsu was born in 1870 during the dynamic Meiji Period (1868-1912) and died in 1949. Accordingly, the final years of his life witnessed Japan in utter crisis concerning the ravages of war.

All three stunning art pieces were completed in the early Showa Period. Hence, the tranquility depicted in these art pieces of the 1930s is a million miles from the gathering storms of death and war.

The Koller Collection of Asian Art says, “Kōitsu Tsuchiya 土屋光逸 (1870–1949) was a master landscape print designer part of the New Prints Movement (shin-hanga) in early 20th c. Japan. His prints, known for their intriguing color schemes and theatrical use of light, are referred to as light ray pictures (kosen-ga).”

He studied under the highly acclaimed Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915). In this period, Kōitsu developed a love of light similar to Kiyochika.

Kōitsu did depict angles of nationalism and war – far from the stunning landscapes in this article. However, he is remembered for his amazing landscapes, his approach to light, and utilizing snow.

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