Motivated by a desire to revive the declining tradition of Japanese Ukiyo-e, Hasui Kawase (1883-1957) was an individual who played a leading role in the establishment of a new type of Ukiyo-e called "Shin-hanga".
Born as the eldest son of a rope and thread wholesaler, Kawase became the pupil of Nihonga artist Kaburagi Kiyokata. It was at this time that he received the nom de plume of ""Hasui"". Hasui developed an interest in woodblock printing (mokuhanga) after viewing ""The Eight Views of Omi"" (Omi hakkei)—a work created by his fellow pupil Shinsui Ito. This interest culminated in the 1918 release of ""Shiobara"" from the Watanabe Printshop. Afterwards, Hasui travelled to destinations across Japan where he drew sketches which became the base material for the creation of numerous woodblock prints. These works would go on to establish Hasui as one of the foremost creators of modern landscape prints.
Referred to as the ""poet of the journey,"" ""traveling printmaker"" or the "Hiroshige of the Showa era," Hasui's lyrically rich depictions of beautiful Japanese landscapes have given him a level of popularity overseas which is on the same level as Ukiyo-e masters such as Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige.
For this exhibition and sales event, woodblock print shop S. WATANABE Woodcut Prints has carefully selected, from among works collected from around the world, more than 30 early prints to showcase including some valuable works from the Taisho Period (1912–26).