SosakuHanga.net  創作版画      
presented by Saru Gallery         


Periods
  1900-1910
  1910-1920
  1920-1930
  1930-1940
  1940-1950
  1950-1960
  1960-1970
  1970-present

More
  Home
  Essays
  References
  Contact us
  Conditions of Sale
  Gallery of Sold Prints

1940-1950

History

Firebombing of Tokyo on May 26th 1945 The British historian A.J.P. Taylor was the first of many historians that concluded that World War II was ôa good warö, since it was a righteous war fought against tyrannies. I doubt if there is such a thing as a ôgood warö, and in my opinion the epithet is not applicable in the Pacific theatre of World War II. At the end of the war huge numbers of people, mainly civilians, had lost their lives, in China alone 15 million people lost their lives, and Japan itself suffered nearly 3 million casualties. The country was devastated, many cities had been fire-bombed, and the fate of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is well-known. On August 15th 1945 Japan surrendered, after emperor Hirohito had announced the end of the war in a radio broadcast. The Japanese people ôhad to endure the unendurable and bear the unbearableö, words that were not meant to be prophetic (but merely euphemistic), but turned out to be an accurate prediction of what was to follow.
Two weeks later the Americans came, and on September 2nd the surrender was signed on board of the USS Missouri; one of the flags flying on the Missouri was the 31-star-standard used by Commodore Perry in Tokyo Bay in 1854. Less than a hundred years had passed since his arrival.
General Douglas MacArthur, now Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Japan, chose to maintain Hirohito as emperor, using him as a unifying element. Politically it was probably a prudent move, but morally it was objectionable. Now that the highest man responsible was not punished in any way for the role he had played the last twenty years, many Japanese could easily absolve themselves of any guilt they may have felt. However, it also helped them to forget the past (if they could) and to transcend it. USS Missouri at the end of the surrender ceremony
In an interview MacArthur referred to Japan as a yonto koku, a fourth-rate country, probably correct considering the state of the country, but a deliberate insult as well. A few phrases that recur in the literature describing the situation shortly after the war are maketa sens˘, lost war, and kyodatsu, a condition of exhaustion and despair. The two were narrowly interwoven. There was real hunger, and thousands of people starved in the period after the war, in spite of US food transports. There were millions of displaced persons, orphans, war widows, and penniless and starving Japanese returning from territories outside Japan. The defeated soldiers returned to a homefront whose feelings were decidedly unfriendly towards them, much like the US troops returning from Vietnam experienced in 1975.
Economic recovery was slow. Many Japanese cities were yaki-nohara, burnt plains; the population of Tokyo had dropped from 7 million in 1940 to 3 million just after the war, Osaka from 3 to 1 million in the same period. Only in the middle 50s did economic recovery really get underway.

Artistic developments

As is to be expected, the war bought artistic development to a standstill. Artists that depended on the proceeds from their work mostly started to work for the government in some way or other, for if they refused they were cut off from all supplies, like paper, paint, ink and the like. Young artists were recruited into the army for propaganda purposes, and the majority of artists already active in the 20s and 30s simply muddled through the best they could. Most remained active throughout the war. In 1939 the Ichimomokukai, the First Thursday Society, came into being. It first consisted of only three artists, Sekino Junĺichir˘ (1914-1988), Yamaguchi Gen (1896-1976) and Onchi K˘shir˘, at whose house they met every first Thursday of the month. Later others joined them, Maekawa Senpan (1888-1960) and Azechi Umetar˘ (1902-1999) among them. Another group formed around Hiratsuka Unĺichi at about the same time, the Kitsutsuki-kai, the Woodpecker Society, who gathered in Hiratsukaĺs house in Yoyogi, Tokyo. In 1944 the first Ichimoku-shű (First Thursday Collection) was produced, a remarkable achievement at a time of so many shortages, made possible by Onchi K˘shir˘, who had both the means and the organizational talent. There were to be six such sets, the last being published in 1950.
Another remarkable publication was the set Tokyo Kaik˘ Zue ľ Scenes of Last Tokyo, published in December 1945 by Fugaku Shuppansha and recycling some designs from the series Shin T˘ky˘ Hyakkei ľ One hundred views of new Tokyo, published between 1928-32. Tokyo Kaik˘ Zue can also be translated as ôRetrospective pictures of Tokyoö, for quite a lot of emphasis was put on the Tokyo of pre-war fame.

Nozu Sakichi, Landscape, 1942 Onchi K˘shir˘, Tokyo Station, 1945

In a weird twist of fate it was the Americans who really boosted s˘saku hanga after the war. William Hartnett, who was among the first to enter Japan as part of the Occupation forces, discovered s˘saku hanga, and he also organized several exhibitions. Another US pioneer was Oliver Statler who first saw an exhibition in Yokohama in 1947. Soon afterwards prints started getting sold in considerable quantities ľ mainly to US servicemen - and for the first time in many years s˘saku hanga artists were getting paid for their efforts.

Prints made in this decade:


1
Maeda, Masao

2
K˘saka, Gajin

3
Shimozawa, Kihachir˘

4
Maeda, T˘shir˘

5
Maeda, T˘shir˘

6
Henmi, Takashi

7
Onchi, K˘shir˘

8
Sekino, Jun'ichir˘

9
Nemoto, Kagai

10
Wakayama, Yasoji

11
Kawakami, Sumio

12
Azechi, Umetar˘

13
Sekino, Jun'ichir˘

14
Kitaoka, Fumio

15
Wakayama, Yasoji

16
Maeda, Masao

17
Wakayama, Yasoji

18
Onchi, K˘shir˘

19
Hatsuyama, Shigeru

20
Wakayama, Yasoji

21
Tsukamoto, Tetsu

22
Hiratsuka, Un'ichi

23
Hiratsuka, Un'ichi

24
Yamaguchi, Gen

25
Maeda, Masao

26
Yamaguchi, Gen

27
Tsukamoto, Tetsu

28
Mori, D˘shun

  Artists active in this decade,
who can be found on this website:

Asada, Benji
Asaga, Manjir˘
Asano, Takeji
Azechi, Umetar˘
ďno, Bakufű
Fukazawa, Sakuichi
Hagiwara, Hideo
Hashimoto, Okiie
Hiratsuka, Un'ichi
Inagaki, Tomoo
Ishii, Tsuruz˘
Katsuhira, Tokushi
Kawakami, Sumio
Kawanishi, Hide
Kawano, Kaoru
Kitaoka, Fumio
Koizumi, Kishio
K˘saka, Gajin
Kuroki, Sadao
Maeda, Masao
Maeda, T˘shir˘
Maekawa, Senpan
Maki, Haku
Miyao, Shigeo
Miyata, Sabur˘
Munakata, Shik˘
Nakagawa, Isaku
Onchi, K˘shir˘
Ono, Tadashige
Sait˘, Kiyoshi
Sasajima, Kihei
Sekino, Jun'ichir˘
Shimozawa, Kihachir˘
Tagawa, Ken
Takeda, Shintar˘
Kamei, T˘bei
Tokuriki, Tomikichir˘
Tsukamoto, Tetsu
Uchida, Shizuma
Wada, Sanz˘
Wakayama, Yasoji
Yamada, Akiyo
Yamaguchi, Gen
Yamaguchi, Susumu
Nagare, K˘ji
Henmi, Takashi
Nemoto, Kagai
Shimizu, Masahiro
Miyamoto, Kiy˘shir˘
Sakamoto, Hanjir˘
Hatsuyama, Shigeru
Serizawa, Keisuke
Wada, Kunib˘
Kuriyama, Shigeru
Dantsuka, Gyor˘
Izumida Koji
 
Prints by artist
Abe, Sh˘ko  
Akiyama, Iwao  
Asada, Benji  
Asaga, Manjir˘  
Asahi, Masahide  
Asano, Takeji  
Asano, Yuichi  
Azechi, Umetar˘  
Binnie, Paul  
Brayer, Sarah  
Dantsuka, Gyor˘   
Ebata, Yoshiichi  
Fujiki, Kikumaro  
Fujimori, Shizuo  
Fukami, Gashu  
Fukazawa, Sakuichi  
Hagiwara, Hideo  
Hashimoto, Okiie  
Hatsuyama, Shigeru  
Hayashi, Waichi  
Hiratsuka, Un'ichi  
Hiroshima, Shintar˘  
Homma, Rie  
Homma, Yoichir˘  
Hori, Yoshiji (堀義二)  
Id˘, Masao  
Inagaki, Tomoo  
Inatsugi, Junz˘  
Ishii, Hakutei  
Ishii, Ry˘suke  
Ishii, Tsuruz˘  
Ishizaki, Shigetoshi  
It˘, Kennosuke  
It˘, Ryosaku  
Ito, Takayoshi  
Iwasaki, Miwako  
Izumida Koji  
Johnson, Lois  
Kadowaki, Shun'ichi  
Kamei, T˘bei  
Karhu, Clifton  
Kasamatsu, Shir˘  
Katase, Kazuhiro  
Kat˘, Tetsunosuke  
Kat˘, Yasu  
Katsuhira, Tokushi  
Kawachi, Seiko  
Kawakami, Sumio  
Kawanishi, Hide  
Kawano, Kaoru  
Kawasaki, Kyosen  
Kelly, Daniel  
Kikuchi, Zenjir˘  
Kitaoka, Fumio  
Kitazawa, Shűji  
Kodama, Takamura  
Koga, Misao  
Koga, Nobuyoshi  
Koizumi, Kishio  
K˘saka, Gajin  
Kozaki, Kan  
Kristensen, Tom  
Kuriyama, Shigeru  
Kuroki, Sadao  
Kusaka, Satomi  
Lyon, Mike  
Maeda, Masao  
Maeda, T˘shir˘  
Maekawa, Senpan  
Maki, Haku  
Makino, Munenori  
Matsubara, Naoko  
Minami, Kunz˘   
Miyamoto, Shufu  
Miyao, Shigeo  
Miyata, Masayuki  
Miyata, Sabur˘  
Mori, D˘shun  
Morita, Tsunetomo  
Moritani, Rikio  
Murakami, Gyojin  
Murayama, Kank˘  
Mut˘, Kan-ichi  
Nagare, K˘ji  
Nakagawa, Isaku  
Nakano, Yoichi  
Nakayama, Tadashi  
Nara, Enami  
Nemoto, Kagai  
Nitta, J˘  
Nunomura, Shin'ichi  
Ogawa, Tatsuhiko  
Okamoto, Ryusei  
ďkubo, Yutaka  
ďmoto, Yasushi  
Onchi, K˘shir˘  
Ono, Tadashige  
ďta, Sabur˘  
Sait˘, Kimiko  
Sait˘, Kiyoshi  
Sakamoto, Hanjir˘  
Sakamoto, Isamu  
Sasajima, Kihei  
Sat˘, Ch˘zan 佐藤 朝山  
Sekino, Jun'ichir˘  
Sewai, Koichi  
Shiba, Hideo  
Shima, Tamami  
Shimizu, K˘ichi  
Shimizu, Masahiro  
Shimozawa, Kihachir˘  
Suzuki, Atsuko  
Tagawa, Ken  
Takada, Kazuo  
Takagi, Shir˘  
Takahashi, Shin'ichi  
Takahashi, Tasabur˘  
Takeda, Gentar˘  
Takeda, Shintar˘  
Tanaka, Kuniz˘   
Taninaka, Yasunori  
Tobari, Kogan  
Tokuriki, Tomikichir˘  
Tomimoto, Kenkichi  
Tsukamoto, Shigeru  
Tsukamoto, Tetsu  
Tsuruta, Gor˘  
Uchida, Shizuma  
Unidentified  
Various  
Wakayama, Yasoji  
Yamada, Akiyo  
Yamagishi, Kazue  
Yamaguchi, Gen  
Yamaguchi, Susumu  
Yamataka, Naboru  
Yasui, S˘tar˘  
Yoshida, Hodaka  

v2