Toyonari Biography

1885-1942- B. Shinagawa section of Tokyo. Given name Yoshitaka; used the art name Koka for paintings, Toyonari generally for prints, although also occasionally Koka. Studied with Ogata Gekko. Grad. 1907 Tokyo School of Fine Arts in Japanese-style painting. Exhibited a painting at the first Bunten, 1907; also exhibited at Inten and with Ugokai. Member of Saiko Nihon Bijutsuin from 1916. In 1916 Watanabe Shozaburo saw painting of an actor at Inten and asked to make a print from it; followed this with a series of 12 okubi-e actor prints in 1920-1922. Other woodblocks including Pelicans, Jar of Dahlias, and Parrot, all 1924, were published by Watanabe. Also made lithographs. The series of actors and bird and flower woodblocks were shown at the Toledo Museum exhibition in 1930. Among the ca. 30 woodblocks Toyonari made during his lifetime, Shanghai Cafe Dancers, self-published in 1924, has a uniquely "roaring twenties" spirit.