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Asian art

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Onchi Kōshirō


1891 - 1955


'Tears' is one of the representative works by Onchi, the most significant 'creative print' (as opposed to reproductive print) artist and the mentor of the Creative Print movement during the first half of the 20th century in Japan.

'Lyric I' is one of his earliest works and was first published in the first issue of 'Tsukuhae', a magazine of prints and poetry which Onchi published with Tanaka Kyôkichi and Fujimori Shizuo. The magazine ended after no.7 due to Tanaka's death in 1915.

Throughout his working life, Onchi produced many works entitled 'Lyric'. In these works he explored the characteristics of woodcut searching for a union of poetry and visual art. This work is the first of the series of his lifelong pursuit; at the same time it is one of the most significant expressions of the urban sentiment among young artists of the fast-developing modern Japan in the 1910s.


FUJII Hisae (ed). 1976. 'Kindai-no Bijutsu: 35 Onchi Kôshirô-to' Tsukuhae, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Tokyo, pg.27 (illus. no. 27).

Helen Merritt. 1990. 'Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: the early years'. University of Hawaii Press, pg.184 (illus).

TANAKA Seikô. 1990. 'Tsukuhae-no gaka tachi: Tanaka Kyôkichi Onchi Kôshirô-no seishun'. Chikuma Shobô, Tokyo, pg.143 (illus. no. 29).

Chiba City Museum of Art. 1999. 'Nihon-no Hanga II 1911-1920: a banquet of carved 'individuals'', Chiba, pg.63 (cat. no. 105).

Shibuya-ku Shôtô Museum of Art. 1999. 'Sôsaku Hanga-no Tanjô: artists who carved the modern times', Tokyo, pg.125 (cat. no. 252).

The Yokohama Museum of Art, the Miyagi Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama (eds). 1994. 'Onchi Koshiro: a poet of colours and forms'. Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokyo, p.51 (colour illus. cat. no. 31).

Asian Art Dept., AGNSW, April 2000.


Alternative title

Lyric I Jojô I

Place where the work was made




Media category


Materials used



13.2 x 10.9 cm image; 13.4 x 11.1 cm mount

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Yasuko Myer Bequest Fund 2000


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Onchi Kōshirō

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 9 publications


FUJII Hisae (Editor), Kindai-no Bijutsu: Onchi Kôshirô-to Tsukuhae, Tokyo, 1976, 27 (illus.). 27

NISHIYAMA Junko (Editor), Nihon no hanga II 1911- 1920: Kizamareta "ko" no kyôen, Tokyo, 1999, 63 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Individuality in early 20th century works on paper', Sydney, 2003, 281 (colour illus.).

Helen Merritt, Modern Japanese woodblock prints, Honolulu, 1990, 184 (illus.). In this publication this work is titled 'Lyrique 1'.

KUWAHARA Noriko, Hanga: Japanese creative prints, 'Onchi Kôshirô's pursuit of modernity in prints 1910s-1930s', pg. 23-39, Sydney, 2000, 5 (colour illus.), 23-39, 103, 107. 2.8

Kuwahara Noriko, Japan in Sydney: Professor Sadler & modernism, 1920-30s, 'Case study one: Onchi Kôshirô and Western art', pgs. 106-111, Sydney, 2011, 106-111, 106 (illus.), 142. 99

TANAKA Seikô, Tsukuhae no gaka-tachi: Tanaka Kyôkichi, Onchi Kôshirô no seishun, Tokyo, 1990, 143 (illus.).

Shôto Museum of Art (Editor), Sôsaku hanga no tanjô: Kindai o kizanda sakka-tachi, Tokyo, 1999, 125 (colour illus.).

Yokohama Museum of Art, The Miyagi Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama (Editors), Onchi Koshiro: a poet of colours and forms, Japan, 1994, 51 (colour illus.). 31