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An image of Ôkawa bank by TANINAKA Yasunori


(Japan 1897 – 1946)

Ôkawa bank, from the series New hundred views of Japan
Alternative title:
Shin Nihon hyakkei: 33 Ôkawabata
Place of origin
Shôwa period 1926 - 1988 → Japan
Media category
Materials used
colour woodcut

22.5 x 30.0 cm image; 25.9 x 33.0 cm mount

Signature & date
Signed l.r., in Japanese, ink, incised on block "Yasunori saku [made by Yasunori] ...". Not dated.
Yasuko Myer Bequest Fund 1997
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

Taninaka was one of the most talented and original print artists in modern Japan whose work focused on urban life. Taninaka stands out among his peers for his originality and uninhibited imagination. In this print Taninaka depicts Ôkawabata, a part of the Sumida River in Tokyo and a popular picnic and entertainment destination since the Edo period, disturbingly deserted. The atmosphere of disquiet would be even more intense and perturbing for a Japanese viewer for whom Ôkawabata would resonate with pleasurable associations of crowded days of merriment. (Art Gallery Handbook, 1999, p. 284).

This series of prints is a unique set of prints in two ways: at least thirty contemporary artists collaborated in a single series of landscape prints, depicting both famous places & scenery of modern urban life. This series is a product of the Creative Print Movement, a modern movement in printmaking which began early in the 20th century by artists who designed, blockcut & printed their own work with a clear intention of creating works of art as opposed to `surimono', reproductions. Due to the intensification of WWII, publication of the series was stopped by the Japanese authorities who feared that the interior of Japan would become known to its enemies.

Bibliography (2)

AJIOKA, Hanga: Japanese creative prints, '1930s-1950s: Consolidation of Hanga and the individualists', pg. 70-98, Sydney, 2000, 87 (colour illus.), 104, 109-110. 4.9x

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: East Asia', pg. 246-287, Sydney, 1999, 284 (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (1)

Hanga: Japanese creative prints, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 28 Oct 2000–07 Jan 2001