Providing fine art to collectors, museums, corporations, and the trade since 1977.
Specializing in rare 18th - 20th Century Japanese Woodblock Prints
Notes: Narazaki notes: "This piece is a toku-oban (oversized oban format). The composition is extremely detailed, showing the Tsuruoka Hachiman Shrine from the base of the stone steps and continuing towards the background mountain. The intricacy of the large ginko tree with its autumnal foliage and the positioning of the multi-storied entrance would have been a challenge for the block-cutter".
The Tsuruoka Hachiman Shrine is located in Kanagawa Prefecture. It was dedicated to the spirits of the legendary Emperor Ojin, who was deified as the 'kami' Hachiman, his mother Jingu and his wife Himegami. Originally an extension of the Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine, it was moved to its present site in 1191 by Minamoto Yoritomo (1144 - 1199).
Kawase Hasui, the eldest son of a merchant family, whose given name was "Bunjiro", tried his hand at running the family business, but turned it over to his younger sister and entered the studio of the artist Kiyokata at age 25. Kiyokata gave Hasui his artist's name in 1910. In 1916 he met the publisher Shozaburo Watanabe. In 1918 Hasui saw and was inspired by Ito Shinsui's "Eight Views of Lake Biwa" which were being shown at a Kyodokai exhibition. Hasui submitted sketches to Watanabe and so began the collaboration that started in 1918 and continued into the 1950s.
While the majority of his prints were published by Watanabe, Hasui also worked with Kawaguchi/Sakai between 1929-1932. This later venture was a result of the artists' need to raise extra funds for the construction of a new home he was building in Magome. Hasui moved to Magome in 1930 and began what he described as his most interesting artistic period. Over half of his more than 600 prints were published during the period between 1930 to 1944. In 1930, with the help of Watanabe, Hasui exhibited 92 prints in the landmark Toledo Museum of Art exhibition, which introduced his works to the West and led to his international recognition as a Japanese landscape print artist. Later, Hasui was recognized for his ability to depict snow scenes. Great Japanese scholars like the eminent Naruzaki Mureshige liked to describe Kawase Hasui as the "Artist of Snow". He became one of the best known artists of the New Print movement and was named a Living National Treasure in 1956.