Japan art and Kasamatsu Shiro: Early Showa era

Japan art and Kasamatsu Shirō: Early Showa era

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Kasamatsu Shirō (1898-1991) produced stunning shin hanga (new prints) throughout his life. Hence, he is deemed the last authentic artist of this style of art. 

Concerning the art piece above, it was produced during the traumatic period of the 1940s. However, you have no trace of this devastating period related to war. This concerns the prevailing poverty that blighted Japan throughout the war and in the early post-war period. Instead, Shirō focuses on a lovely scene with a mother and child returning home after walking in the snow.

The other two art pieces belong to the early Showa Period (1926-1989) of the 1930s. In the art piece above, a mother and child enjoy the snowy conditions. Hence, the beauty of winter and the ticking clock of faith come together.

The Ota Memorial Museum of Art says, “Kasamatsu Shirō (1898-1991) is an ukiyo-e artist who was active during the Taishō Era to the Shōwa Era. He became a pupil of Kaburaki Kiyokata to learn Japanese paintings, and published Shin-hanga prints from the publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō in 1919. He produced Shin-hanga prints portraying modern cityscapes of Tokyo and sceneries of hot spring areas using pale colors. After the war, he left the publisher Watanabe and published his works from Unsōdō Woodblock Print in 1952-1959. Shirō can be considered the last authentic Shin-hanga print artist, as he produced Shin-hanga from its early period and was dedicated to the genre even after the war.”

Finally, in the last art piece, you have several adults outside in the snowy conditions. Individuals are dressed in elegant clothes and protected by umbrellas. The architecture also provides a lovely focus to this stunning art piece. 

The last two art pieces were published in 1934 and 1935.

http://www.ukiyoe-ota-muse.jp/exhibition-eng/kasamatsu-shiro-the-last-shin-hanga-prints-artist-eng

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