Shin Hanga prints

During and after the Meiji era, many professional woodblock printers and carvers were forced to turn to other jobs to make a living. Only some craftsmen raised in the traditional art of woodblock printmaking were able to continue working, based on the well-established quartet always consisting of four people: the publisher, the designer, the carver, and the printer. After the Meiji era the traditional Japanese co-operation of four different professionals producing woodblock prints were called the Shin Hanga (literally meaning New Prints) movement.

In the 20th century publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō (who was responsible for publishing the prints designed by Kawase Hasui and Itō Shinsui for example) was instrumental in reviving this tradition of producing Japanese woodblock prints. The French artist Paul Jacoulet - living almost all his life (including the Second World War) in Japan - also hired professional Japanese carvers and printers for the production of his woodblock prints, and - acknowledging their stupendous skills - added their names to most of his prints.

One woodblock carver - not only responsible for the blocks of the prints designed by Paul Jacoulet, but also for some of those designed by Kawase Hasui, Torii Kotondo, Yoshio Okada, and Tatsumi Shimura for example - particularly stands out for his enormous craftmanship during this most recent time of Japanese history. His name is Kentarō Maeda (ca.1900-1987).

During this very same post-Meiji period the what is known as the Sosaku Hanga (literally meaning Creative Prints) movement was receiving much more attention from art reviewers (both abroad and in Japan) than the Shin Hanga movement. Artists of the Sosaku Hanga movement typically did all the work (the publishing, designing, carving, and printing of their designs) themselves, claiming that the technical skills required in the carving and printing of woodblock prints would only hinder their artistic expression in the woodblock printing medium. These are examples of the type of prints produced by the Sosaku Hanga movement (click on the images to obtain larger views of the prints):

Mizuno Toshikata Mitsui Gonomi front cover Mizuno Toshikata Mitsui Gonomi inside
Umetaro Azechi - Repose Koshiro Onchi - Impression of a Violinist

The print on the left is the frontispiece of a book on woodblock printing techniques written by Umetaro Azechi, a book that can be viewed on my website here. The print on the right is the frontispiece of a book on Sosaku Hanga artists written by Oliver Statler, a book that can be viewed on my website here. The latter print is also illustrated and discussed on page 228 of the book Waves of Renewal. Modern Japanese Prints 1900-1960 written by Uhlenbeck, Newland, and de Vries (2016). As for the different goals aspired to by members of the Shin Hanga and Sosaku Hanga movements, Tōshi Yoshida - first author of this book on Japanese woodblock techniques, and son of the famous Shin Hanga artist Hiroshi Yoshida - mentions that:

‘ ... it may be said that the modern (i.e. creative) print movement started as a drastic reaction to the decadence of the ukiyo-e, which had become overripe in technical skill but quite impoverished in artistic value.’

Later in life, however, Tōshi Yoshida reverted to the Shin Hanga style of producing woodblock prints, as is witnessed by his prints ‘Monument Valley’ and ‘Ship Rock’ shown below.

The woodblock prints displayed on this webpage clearly point out my preference for the prints produced by the Shin Hanga artists, disregarding - I am afraid - those made by members of the Sosaku Hanga movement.

To find out more about the Shin Hanga prints shown on this page - their size, publication date, provenance, enlargements, the English translation of the Japanese texts on each print, et cetera - please click on any of the images shown below.

Hashiguchi Goyō (1880-1921) - Woman combing her hair
Hashiguchi Goyō (1880-1921) - Rain at Yabakei
Hashiguchi Goyō (1880-1921) - Woman applying makeup
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) - Tengu Rock at Shiobara
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) - Full moon at Magome
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) - Senju Waterfall, Akame
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) - Evening shower at Imai Bridge
Hasui Lake Kawaguchi thumbnail
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) - Lake Kawaguchi
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) - Onshi Park, Shiba
Hasui Pagoda In Rain thumbnail
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) - Pagoda in rain
Hasui Fuji No Yukibare thumbnail
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) - Fuji No Yukibare (Tagonoura)
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) - Autumn at Shiobara
Kawarazaki Shodo Irises
Kawarazaki Shōdō (1889-1973) - Irises
Itō Shinsui (1898-1972) - Frosty morning
Kitano Tsunetomi (1880-1947) - The heroine Umekawa in ‘Meido no Hikyaku’
Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950) - Sailing boats: Morning
Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950) - Rapids
Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950) - Calm wind
Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950) - Glittering sea
Tōshi Yoshida (1911-1995) - Monument Valley
Toshi Yoshida Yodo River thumbnail
Tōshi Yoshida (1911-1995) - Yodo River
Tōshi Yoshida (1911-1995) - Ship Rock
Tsuchiya Kōitsu (1870-1949) - Nara Kōfuku temple
Tsuchiya Kōitsu (1870-1949) - Matsushima
Tsuchiya Kōitsu (1870-1949) - Nezu shrine
Koson Snow At Yanagibashi thumbnail
Ohara Koson (1877-1945) - Snow at Yanagibashi
Koitsu Aki Miyajima-thumbnail
Tsuchiya Kōitsu (1870-1949) - Aki Miyajima
Takahashi Shōtei (1871-1945) - Thunderstorm at Tateishi
Ishii Hakutei (1882-1958) - Shibaura
Ota Masamitsu-thumbnail
Ota Masamitsu (1892-1975) - Gendai Butai Geika: 9 Ōboshi Ichikawa Sadanji III
Hirano Hakuhō (1879-1957) - Before the mirror
Torii Kotondo (1900-1976) - Morning hair
Shimura Tatsumi (1907-1980) - Lipstick
Torii Kotondo (1900-1976) - Combing her hair
Okada Yoshio Akashi-thumbnail
Okada Yoshio (1934-2021) - Genji emaki: Akashi
Okada Yoshio Hotaru-thumbnail
Okada Yoshio (1934-2021) - Genji emaki: Hotaru
Okada Yoshio Wakana-thumbnail
Okada Yoshio (1934-2021) - Genji emaki: Wakana
  Okada Yoshio Matsukaze thumbnail
Okada Yoshio (1934-2021) - Genji emaki: Matsukaze
  David Bull Ato thumbnail
David Bull (1951) - Ato
Masao Ebina Wakamurasaki-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Waka Murasaki
Masao Ebina Aoi-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Aoi
Masao Ebina Akashi-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Akashi
Masao Ebina E-awase-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: E-awase
Masao Ebina Matsukaze-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Matsukaze
Masao Ebina Otome-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Otome
Masao Ebina Tamakazura-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Tamakazura
Masao Ebina Kocho-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Kochō
Masao Ebina Hotaru-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Hotaru
Masao Ebina Miyuki-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Miyuki
Masao Ebina Fuji No Uraba-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Fuji Uraba
Masao Ebina WakanaNoJo-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: WakanaNoJo
Masao Ebina Yokobue-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Yokobue
Masao Ebina Niou-Miya-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Niou Miya
Masao Ebina Sawarabi-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Sawarabi
Masao Ebina Azumaya-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Azumaya
Masao Ebina Kagero-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Kagero
Masao Ebina Tenarai-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Tenarai
  Masao Ebina Yume No Uki Hashi-thumbnail
Masao Ebina (1913-1980) - Genji monogatari: Yume No Uki Hashi
  Teruhide Kato-thumbnail
Teruhide Kato (1936-2015) - Bamboo forest - Sagano
Jacoulet La chenille verte Coree thumbnail
Paul Jacoulet (1896-1960) - La chenille verte. Corée.
Jacoulet Retour d un banquet Coree Seoul thumbnail
Paul Jacoulet (1896-1960) - Retour d’un banquet. Corée Seoul.
Jacoulet Le genie sans nom Coree thumbnail
Paul Jacoulet (1896-1960) - Le génie sans nom. Corée.
  Jacoulet Beaute Japonaise moderne Kobe thumbnail
Paul Jacoulet (1896-1960) - Beauté Japonaise Moderne. Kobé
Jacoulet Tempete du Coeur Seoul Coree thumbnail
Paul Jacoulet (1896-1960) - Tempête du Coeur Séoul Corée
Jacoulet Le bol de lait Aino Hokkaido Japon thumbnail
Paul Jacoulet (1896-1960) - Le bol de lait Aino_Hokkaido Japon
Jacoulet Fumees de santal Mandchoukuo thumbnail
Paul Jacoulet (1896-1960) - Fumées de Santal Mandchoukuo
Osamu Sugiyama (1946) - Climbing up along Snow Ridge
Gary Luedtke (1947) - Kalalau, Kauai

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