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  • 執筆者の写真Michi

Special exhibition of Shinhanga(新版画): Evolutionary UKIYO-E Beauty


You'll go in through the elevator door with a girl printed on it to the 8th floor of Chiba Museum of Art.

The exhibition is now on view from Sept. 14 to Nov. 3, 2022.

It consists of 190 woodblock prints by OHARA Koson 小原 古邨, HASHIGUCHI Goyo 橋口五葉、ITOH Shinsui伊東深水, KAWASE Hasui 川瀬巴水, YOSHIDA Hiroshi 吉田博, NATORI Shunsen 名取春仙, YAMAMURA Koka 山村耕花, YOSHIKAWA Kan 吉川観, KOBAYAKAWA Kiyoshi 小早川清, and so on,

as well as 43 woodblock prints by Helen Hyde and 14 woodblock prints by Birtha Lum.

What's Shinhanga? It's a genre that revitalized the traditional ukiyo-e and flourished in early 20th century, during the Taisho and Showa periods.

Ukiyo-e enjoyed a great popularity among citizens from the late 17th to the 19th centuries. After printing machines were introduced in the early Meiji era, citizens got to read newspapers instead. Consequently the number of the ukiyo-e publication was forced to decreased.

In the late Meiji era, 1900s, some artists such as OHARA Koson 小原古邨(1877~1945), YAMAMOTO Shoun 山本昇雲 (1870~1965) began to depict ukiyo-e with an artistic creativity and in the early Taisho era, 1910s, HASHIGUCHI Goyo 橋口五葉 (1881~1921) , ITOH Shinsui 伊東深水(1898~ 1972), KAWASE Hasui 川瀬巴水 (1883~1957) and so on incorporated western realisic expressions, under a traditional ukiyo-e system where each designer, carver, printer, and publisher cooperatively worked.

Those works appealed to the Western taste. A publisher WATANABE Shozaburo (1885〜1962), contributed a great deal to the success of selling Shinhanga works overseas.

Most of Shinhanga works are housed in the museums overseas.

The title of the woodblock print above is "Yanaka Sunset from the series Tokyo Twelve Months" by KAWASE Hasui 川瀬巴水(1883~1957).

The title of the woodblock print above is "Yanaka Sunset from the series Tokyo Twelve Months" by KAWASE Hasui 川瀬巴水(1883~1957).

The title of the woodblock print above is "Indigo and White" by Helen Hyde (1868~1919)

Helen was born in Lima town in New York and moved to San Francisco at the age of 14.

After studying art in California, she went to Berlin, then to Paris where she was influenced by the Japonism movement which was sweeping across Europe and the U.S.

In the late Meiji era she came to Japan and produced Shinhanga under WATANABE Shozaburo渡辺庄三郎, a publisher(1885~1962). Her favorite themes were Japanese women and children.

source: leaflet of Chiba City Museum of Art

The Woodblock print above is "Dance Performance at the New Carlton, Shanghai" by YAMAMURA Koka 山村耕花 (1885~1942). Koka was called a master of Yakushae (prints of Kabuki actors) of Shinhanga.

He published his works with own costs.

The title of the woodblock print above is "Glittering Sea, Seto Inland Sea Collection"

by YOSHIDA Hiroshi 吉田博 (1876~1950).

Hiroshi travelled India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Singapore, the U.S., and Europe, where he energetically sketched. He was an alpinist and drew a lot of landscape ukiyo-e of the Japan Alps and the Swiss Alps.

He is one of the ukiyo-e artists that didn't poroduce under a publisher, which he published with his own costs.

The title of the woodblock print above is "Morning on Mt. Tsurugi, Twelve Scenes of Japan Alps"

by YOSHIDA Hiroshi 吉田博 (1876~1950).

The title of the woodblock print above is "On the River" by Bertha Lum (1869~1954)

She was born in Tipton, Iowa, USA. She was greatly influenced by UTAGAWA Hiroshige.

When she spent 7-week honeymoon in Japan in 1903, she learned the traditional Ukiyo-e technique. She took some woodcutting tools with her to the U.S.

In 1907, she came to Japan and worked with Igami Bonkutsu (1875~1933), a block cutter, for two months and another four months with Nishikura Kamakichi, a printer, and returned home.

While she stayed Japan for six months in 1911, she hired cutters and printers and worked in her house. She was much interested in the ghost stories by Lafcadio Hearn.

It was published in 1912(Meiji 45)

The woodblock print is one of six in "Modern Times Makeup - Tipsy series" by

KOBAYAKAWA Kiyoshi 小早川清 (1899~1948).

Kiyoshi depicted the unique personalities of women: Look at her hair style, sleeveless dress, a cocktail, a cigarette, which were all striking to the people at the time. He masterly drew this mo-ga (an abbreviation for modern girls).

It was published in 1930 (Showa 5) with his own costs.

Please visit the Shinhanga exhibition at CCMA. I hope it will help you trace the development of Shinhanga.

More about Chiba City Museum of Art: please access





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