(Japan 1902 – 1999)
45.3 x 30.0 cm image; 48.9 x 33.2 cm sheet
This print is representative of the most significant turning point in the artist's career. It was produced at the time of his departure from images of cityscapes influenced by Hiratsuka Un'ichi (1885-1997) under whom he studied printmaking, and his rediscovery, thanks to Onchi's personal encouragement, of his love of the mountains from his childhood. From this point onwards Azechi became among the 'Creative print' artists for his depictions of mountains and 'mountain-men', and his many articles and books of humorous essays on mountain lore and mountain climbing.
'Kamegamori' is the name of a mountain on Shikoku Island. 'Iyo' is the old name for Kôchi prefecture on Shikoku. The stark, rustic character of this print is not merely due to Azechi's relative lack of professional training, but is, in accordance with his choice of subject matter and medium, representative of his connection to his country roots and preference for honesty and simplicity. (Sources: Merritt, Helen. Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: the early years. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1990, pg. 234-35; Smith, Lawrence. Modern Japanese Prints 1912-1989: woodblocks and stencils (exhib. cat). London: British Museum Press, 1994, pg. 22; Statler, Oliver. Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn. Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle, 1959, pg.136-141.
Asian Art Dept., AGNSW, 13 February 2002.