Japanese Modernism Across Media


Creative Print Artists

Tsukihae (1914-1915) 
A journal of Criative Prints produced by Onchi Koshiro,Fujimori Zhizuo, Tanaka Kyokichi 

In Edo period, Ukiyo-e, urban art of woodblock prints, was the one of the most popular art form in Japan. However, as Japan opened the country to the West, ukiyo-e was exposed to the competition with western art forms, especially with photography in the early 20th century.

As a result, the struggle and demise of ukiyo-e produced two new forms of woodblock printings in Japan, Creative Print (Sosaku Hanga) and Revival Print (Shin Hanga).

The artists involved in One Hundred Views of New Tokyo are all Creative Print artists.

Creative Print differs from other types of print from the strong artistic intention, a printer put on their creations.  Onchi Koshiro, the most well-known Creative Print artist described, “Print is not a printed picture, but a picture painted by a block, which makes it a means to creation(sosaku). Artistic function in printmaking comes from the creative intention.”

 One Hundred Views of New Tokyo is the series of prints which the eight independent Creative Print artists cooperated to convey the same message, “fear of even more urbanization with rebuilding of the city” and “nostalgia for the loss of familiar city scenes” after the Kanto Great Earthquake. Even though each artist’s techniques and styles differs from each other, the series corporately conveys the complicated but strong message of the lament for the loss of old Tokyo views and the hope for the future of Tokyo. Those artists including Onchi Koshiro were all leading Creative Print artists.

In this page, I sort the works in One Hundred Views of New Tokyo by artists. Here, you can see the distinctive artistic and technical features of eight Creative Print artists, as well as the change of orienting style over time of each printer.


         Onchi Koshiro

          Maekawa Senpan

          Fujimori Shizuo

          Henmi Takashi

          Hiratsuka Unichi

          Kawakami Sumio

          Fukazawa Sakuichi

          Suwa Kanenori