Hiroshi Yoshida, Kameido Bridge, Twelve Scenes of Tokyo


Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950)
Title: Kameido Bridge
Series: Ten Views of Fuji
Date: Originally published in 1936 [later edition]

Dimensions: 27.5 x 40.5 cm


Wisteria drapes around the trellises of the Kameido Tenjin Shrine. In early spring, visitors are clustered on top of a moon bridge. Built in dedication to the scholar and poet Sugawara no Michizane (845-903), the shrine is situated in Tokyo’s Koto ward. The dramatically arched bridge gives the impression of a perfect circle through the waters reflection, a symbol noted in Japanese religion and aesthetics for its harmony. Also, by halting those wishing to pay their respects to the holy grounds, moon bridges are said to force those entering into a slower and more focused state of mind.

Hiroshi Yoshida (1876 - 1950)

Hiroshi Yoshida was one of the leading figures in the shin-hanga movement and stands out as one of the prominent landscape artists of his time. Born in Fukuoka, he was adopted by his art teacher Yoshida Kosaburo. In 1893, he went to Kyoto to study yoga and nihonga styles of painting and often produced watercolours.

Yoshida’s interest in woodblock prints came only in middle age when he started collaborating with the shin-hanga publisher Watanabe Shozaburo. He created seven prints under his guidance, although the collaboration ended abruptly when the publishing agency was destroyed in the fire following the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. In 1925 he established his own workshop where he employed wood-cutters and printers while supervising every aspect of the printmaking process. The jizuri (self-printed) seal is found in the margin of prints which were made under his close supervision.

The artist was extremely fond of travelling and he embarked on many trips throughout his life, depicting locations in the United States, India, China, Korea, North Africa, the Himalayas and Switzerland. He was also a passionate climber, and most of his prints depict landscapes from his travels and alpine scenes from his mountaineering excursions. His style reflects his training as a painter and watercolourist. His prints display a wonderful choice of colour blending, while his skill at depicting the natural flow of water and reflections on its surface is remarkable.

Many of Hiroshi's prints were exported and became popular in the West. He was fortunate to have exhibited his paintings in oil and watercolour in both Japan and overseas and to have won numerous art exhibition prizes. He was one of the few shin-hanga artists to sign his works in English. His sons, Toshi Yoshida and Hodaka Yoshida, became great artists in their own right.

More Information
Print FormatDai-Oban
ArtistHiroshi Yoshida (1876 - 1950)
SubjectBeauty & Female
Size27.5 x 40.5 cm