Toshi Yoshida, Okaramon, Nikko Shrine, Shin-hanga, Modern Landscape


Artist: Toshi Yoshida (1911-1995)
Title: Okaramon
Published: by the artist
Original pencil signature.
Date: 1940
Size: 20.3 x 27.2 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

Toshi Yoshida was an extremely renowned artist in the sosaku-hanga movement of modern printmaking. His close relationship with his father Hiroshi Yoshida was instrumental in the pursuit of his art and produced many woodblock prints portraying natural scenes. While his niche was traditionally animals, occasionally he would produce landscape works, like the one seen here.

This design shows the great Karamon (gate) at Nikko shrine. Nikko is famed for being the location of the mausoleum of shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543 – 1616), Japan's first unifier who was later deified as a Buddha. The shrine is lavishly decorated with great architectural details. Wood carvings and large amounts of gold leaf were used to decorate the buildings in a way not seen elsewhere in Japan, where simplicity has been traditionally stressed in shrine architecture. This print shows a busy day at the shrine, with visitors on the steps leading to the main building.

More Information
Print Format Other
Artist Name Toshi Yoshida
Title Okaramon
Subject Landscapes, Modern/Shin-Hanga
Dimensions 20.3 x 27.2 cm
Condition Report Excellent.

Toshi Yoshida

One of the most famous Japanese woodblock print artists of the 20th century, Toshi Yoshida was the eldest son of Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950), one of the most successful printmakers in the Shin-hanga movement, who specialised in the subject of landscape. During his artistic career, Toshi Yoshida struggled to balance staying loyal to his father and developing his own style, while seeking how to renew the declining Ukiyo-e tradition as a Shin-hanga artist. Although he chose animals as his speciality in 1926, his early works through the 1950s, like 'Tokyo at Night' (1938), adopted landscapes in a style similar to his father’s. However, compared to Hiroshi’s elaborate, subdued and monumental landscape prints, Toshi’s usage of rich and profound colour succeeds in expressing candid traditional Japanese scenery.

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