Hasui Biography

Known for his exquisite landscape prints, Kawase Hasui was one of the most prolific and talented shin hanga artists of the early 20th century. He designed around six hundred prints total, mainly for the publisher Watanabe Shozaburo. Many people feel that Hasui's most original work was done at the beginning of his career. Unfortunately, the blocks for these early prints were destroyed in the devastating 1923 earthquake and they were never reprinted. Like Hiroshi Yoshida, Hasui travelled frequently and filled sketchbooks with his drawings of scenic places around Japan. Many of his print designs are based on his beautifully executed watercolors. In 1953, the Japanese government decided to commemorate traditional printmaking. They were prepared to honor Hasui as a National Living Treasure, but realizing the collaborative nature of his prints, they decided to commission a special woodblock print. '' Snow at Zozoji Temple'', was designated as an Intangible Cultural Treasure, a great honor for Hasui and for the craftsmen that made his prints possible.  Merrit, Helen, Modern Japanese Print Artists Kawase Hasui(1883-1957)  
 
Known for his exquisite landscape prints, Kawase Hasui was one of the most prolific and talented shin hanga artists of the early 20th century. He designed around six hundred prints total, mainly for the publisher Watanabe Shozaburo. Many people feel that Hasui's most original work was done at the beginning of his career. Unfortunately, the blocks for these early prints were destroyed in the devastating 1923 earthquake and they were never reprinted. Like Hiroshi Yoshida, Hasui travelled frequently and filled sketchbooks with his drawings of scenic places around Japan. Many of his print designs are based on his beautifully executed watercolors. In 1953, the Japanese government decided to commemorate traditional printmaking. They were prepared to honor Hasui as a National Living Treasure, but realizing the collaborative nature of his prints, they decided to commission a special woodblock print. '' Snow at Zozoji Temple'', was designated as an Intangible Cultural Treasure, a great honor for Hasui and for the craftsmen that made his prints possible.  Ref: Merritt, Helen; Modern Japanese Print Artists Kawase Hasui(1883-1957) A sickly child, ill-suited for work in his family's wholesale rope shop, Hasui began taking private painting lessons already at age 14.  After studying with several different teachers, he became, at age 27, a pupil of Kaburagi Kiyokata (1878-1972), the ukiyo-e- style painter of beautiful women, with whom both Ito Shinsui and Torii Kotondo had also studied. In 1918, at the instigation of Watanabe Shozaburo, he designed his first print, inspired, it is said, by Shinsui's Omi Hakkei series). The association with Watanabe proved to be a fruitful one for Hasui. He became the publisher's most prolific designer, supplying him with literally hundreds of landscape subjects over the next 30-odd years. If Shinsui and Goyo can be said to have revived or updated the ukiyo-e ideal of feminine beauty Hasui can be said to have done the same for landscape. His debt to Hiroshige is obvious, yet his work has its own distinctive quality He had a remarkable ability to evoke the mood of a particular time or place, and the best of his images do so with great effectiveness. Known for his exquisite landscape prints, Kawase Hasui was one of the most prolific and talented shin hanga artists of the early 20th century. He designed around six hundred prints total, mainly for the publisher Watanabe Shozaburo. Many people feel that Hasui's most original work was done at the beginning of his career. Unfortunately, the blocks for these early prints were destroyed in the devastating 1923 earthquake and they were never reprinted. Like Hiroshi Yoshida, Hasui travelled frequently and filled sketchbooks with his drawings of scenic places around Japan. Many of his print designs are based on his beautifully executed watercolors. In 1953, the Japanese government decided to commemorate traditional printmaking. They were prepared to honor Hasui as a National Living Treasure, but realizing the collaborative nature of his prints, they decided to commission a special woodblock print. '' Snow at Zozoji Temple'', was designated as an Intangible Cultural Treasure, a great honor for Hasui and for the craftsmen that made his prints possible.  Merrit, Helen, Modern Japanese Print Artists.  Kawase Hasui(1883-1957) A sickly child, ill-suited for work in his family's wholesale rope shop, Hasui began taking private painting lessons already at age 14. After studying with several different teachers, he became, at age 27, a pupil of Kaburagi Kiyokata (1878-1972), the ukiyo-e- style painter of beautiful women, with whom both Ito Shinsui and Torii Kotondo had also studied. In 1918, at the instigation of Watanabe Shozaburo, he designed his first print, inspired, it is said, by Shinsui's Omi Hakkei series). The association with Watanabe proved to be a fruitful one for Hasui. He became the publisher's most prolific designer, supplying him with literally hundreds of landscape subjects over the next 30-odd years. If Shinsui and Goyo can be said to have revived or updated the ukiyo-e ideal of feminine beauty Hasui can be said to have done the same for landscape. His debt to Hiroshige is obvious, yet his work has its own distinctive quality He had a remarkable ability to evoke the mood of a particular time or place, and the best of his images do so with great effectiveness.  Ref; Jenkins, Donald; '' Images of a Changing World, Japanese Prints of the Twentieth Century;Portland, Oregon Museum, 1983 Exhibition Catalog