Friday, August 26, 2011

Hashiguchi Goyo Birthplace

Taking Perth Street north towards the Kagoshima-chuo station, just before you get to route 20, you'll encounter Koto Junior High School on your right side. If you take the right turn just as you reach the school and go about halfway along the grounds, you'll get to the marker for Hashiguchi Goyo:

"Birthplace of Hashiguchi Goyo (1880-1922)
Hashiguchi Goyo, whose given name is actually Hashiguchi Kiyoshi, (Goyo also had the nickname, "Utamaru of the Taiso era"), was born here in 1880.

Goyo began his studies learning traditional Kano Japanese painting. Following Kuroda Seiki's advice, Goyo went to Tokyo at the age of 19 to study western paintings. Upon graduation from the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1905, he began working as an illustrator and book designer. Later that same year, Goyo was commissioned to do the bookbinding for Natsume Soseki's book, I am a Cat. Goyo was also the designer for books written by Natsume Soseki, Mori Ogai, Izumi Kyoka and many others. He also published the Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, "Woman Bathing," "Woman Applying Powder," and Woman Combing Hair". Through his extraordinarily beautiful prints and exacting standards, Goyo had truly created a new era of Japanese wood-block printing."


As a comment, what the marker is referring to is "shin-hanga", the attempt to revitalize woodblock printing as an art form by adding western concepts of light and shading, primarily aimed at the European market, from 1915 to 1942.

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