Japan art and Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915)

Japan art and Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915)

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915) is famous for utilizing scenes connected to dawn, dusk, and nightfall. Hence, many atmospheric art pieces are entailed by Kiyochika.

The convulsions of the early Meiji Period (1868-1912) – especially when fighting on the wrong side of history – entailed that Kiyochika struggled to make a living. However, after meeting Charles Wirgman (English cartoonist, painter, and correspondent) and Shimooka Renjo (a photographer), Kiyochika would begin his artistic career in earnest.

From being born into a samurai family to galvanizing his career by opening up to the modernization processes of the period, Kiyochika reinvented himself. Thus by the middle of the 1870s, he began to produce woodblock prints. 

Kiyochika was one of the great last ukiyo-e printmakers. However, he also laid the foundation – with others – for future artists who worked in the style of shin hanga (new prints). Hence, he bridged the altered times of Edo and Meiji – similar to the ukiyo-e bridge of shin hanga.

Artists including Tsuchiya Koitsu, Hasui Kawase, and Hiroshi Yoshida were inspired by the creativity of Kiyochika.

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