Posts Tagged ‘Un’ichi Hiratsuka’

Artist of the moment…….Masao Maeda

Masao Maeda was a Japanese printmaker who was born in Hokkaido, Japan in the year 1904.  Hokkaido is a small island of Japan. The main subject for Maeda were landscapes. The artist wanted to be an artist since being a very young boy. Maeda worked in oils when he was learning and developing this style. At this time he was painting in oils and in a more western style. By the 1940s Maeda concentrated solely on printmaking.

For his works containing mountains Maeda would hike to the middle ground and paint and sketch from this location. He was an avid hiker.

For his artistic education Maeda attended the Kawabata Painting School.

A major influence and mentor for Maeda was the artist Hiratsuka Unichi. Unichi was one of the most influential printmakers and blow a fine example of his work.


At the beginning of his artistic career Masao Maeda studied with a Japanese painter that was renown for painting in “western” style named Ryuzaburo Umehara. Below an example of his work. Maeda would soon meet other artists who were taking part in the sosuka-hanga movement and Maeda would soon follow this path.


Masao Maeda passed away in 1974.

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Artist of the moment……Un’ichi Hiratsuka

Un’ichi Hiratsuka was born in the year 1895 in Matsue, Shimane a city on the coast of Japan. Hiratsuka is associated with the sosuka-hanga movement. The artist was also a talented carver of wood. The artist taught at the Tokyo School of Fine Art where he was the first printmaking artist. He came from a line of architects as his dad erected shrines and his grandfather was an architect of buildings.

Hiratsuka was a mentor to sosuka-hanga printmaker Shiko Munakata.

For some of his prints the artist used a square-end chisel to make his mark.

Hiratsuka worked in color  in the early part of his career and then after World War 2 began working in black and white.

In this clip a great documentary on the artist and his life. Many works are shown:

Extra lifestyle points for this artist as he passed away in 1997 at the age of 102 years of age! One day after his 102 birthday.