Book and dust jacket are in like new condition, with only the slightest signs of shelf wear. Pages are clean, crisp, and unmarked. Includes many full colour paintings.
The shin hanga (literally, "new prints") movement of the first half of the twentieth century sought to recapture the imagery and feel of ukiyo-e ("pictures of the floating world"), the Japanese printmaking tradition dating back to the seventeenth century. Affordable ukiyo-e prints were produced in great numbers, and their popularity extended to Europe and America, eventually influencing impressionists such as Mary Cassatt and Claude Monet, and modern designers such as Frank Lloyd Wright.
During the progressive Meiji period (1868-1912), interest in ukiyo-e waned in Japan as more modern sensibilities took hold, and by the early 1900s the tradition had practically died out. Foreign collectors continued to buy the most famous of the late Tokugawa (1603-1867) prints, but this had become the exclusive province of rich aesthetes. Enter Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962), a man who grew up working in an antique store and opened his own print shop at the age of twenty-five. Alarmed that few of his countrymen appreciated or could dream of owning the sophisticated, elegant prints of yesteryear, he set out to revive a tradition: Watanabe believed that if talented young artists produced a splendid and affordable body of work, a public hungry for traditional culture would respond.
Shozaburo's efforts - which took many years to bear fruit -spawned fifty years of "new prints", breathtaking landscapes and expressive portraits by such eminent artists as Kawase Hasui, Yoshida Hiroshi, Yoshida Toshi, Ito Shinsui, and Ohara Shoson. Western artists, including Elizabeth Keith and Paul Jacoulet, also embraced the shin hanga techniques, to great effect.
Curator Barry Till's history of the shin hanga movement is illustrated with more than one hundred full-color reproductions. The featured prints are all drawn from the collections of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, British Columbia.