One of the most prolific artists of the shin hanga (new prints) movement, Kawase Hasui (Japanese, 1883–1957) produced over six hundred woodblock prints during his forty-year career. In 1956, he was awarded the prestigious title of Living National Treasure by the Japanese government.
Hasui’s parents were merchants, but after trying his hand at the family business, Hasui decided it wasn’t for him. Instead, at the age of twenty-five he began studying art at the school of master Japanese painter Kaburagi Kiyokata, where his talent soon became apparent.
Often on the road in search of inspiration, Hasui brought his watercolor sketches to the printing studio of publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō, where they were transformed into woodblock prints for sale on the world market. The prints became especially popular in the United States.
Hasui’s impressionist-influenced landscapes in this collection emphasize the beauty of Japan’s countryside and the changing seasons: an iris garden in spring, bright sunshine on a red bridge in summer, golden leaves in autumn, and snow on Mt. Fuji in winter.
Contains 5 each of the following images:
Mt. Fuji after Snow, Oshino, 1952
Iris Garden at Meiji Shrine, Tokyo, 1951
Nikko Shin-kyo (Shin Bridge, Nikko), 1951
Autumn at Saruiwa, Shiobara, 1949