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Kawase Hasui

(1883-1957)

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Kawase Hasui

Known for his exquisite landscape prints, Kawase Hasui was one of the most prolific and talented shin hanga artists of the early 20th century. He designed over six hundred woodblock prints, mainly for the publisher Watanabe Shozaburo, although he also briefly worked for several other publishers. Many people feel that Hasui's most original work was done at the beginning of his career. Unfortunately, the blocks for Hasui's earliest prints were destroyed in the devastating 1923 Kanto earthquake and they were never reprinted. Consequently, Hasui's pre-earthquake prints are among the rarest and most sought-after shin hanga.

Like Hiroshi Yoshida, Hasui travelled frequently and filled sketchbooks with his drawings of scenic places around Japan. Many of his print designs are based on his beautifully executed watercolors. In 1953, the Japanese government decided to commemorate traditional printmaking. They were prepared to honor Hasui as a National Living Treasure, but realizing the collaborative nature of his prints, they decided to commission a special woodblock print instead. This print, Snow at Zozoji Temple, was designated as an Intangible Cultural Treasure, a great honor for Hasui and for the craftsmen that made his prints possible.

Prints by Series or by Publisher

Postcard Prints

 

Souvenirs of Travels, 1st series

1919-20

Twelve Tokyo Subjects

1919-21

Pictures of Mitsubishi Fukagawa Villa

1920

Souvenirs of Travels, 2nd series

1921-22

Selection of Scenes of Japan

1922-26

Souvenirs of Travels, 3rd series

1924-29

Prints published by Isetatsu

1925-26

Twenty Scenes of Tokyo

1925-30

Prints published by Bijutsusha

1927

Prints published by Kawaguchi & Sakai

1929-30

Prints published by Kato Junji

1930

Prints published by Tokyo Shobido

1930-31

Prints published by Doi Teiichi

1931-32

Shinto and its Architecture

1936

Kabuki Actor Prints

1950-51