The selection of exlibris in the virtual exhibition Japanese Exlibris is part of the collection of the Joaquim Folch i Torres Library. These colour prints, dating from 1960 to 1980, are attached to the calendars of the Nippon Exlibris Association.
The exlibris were designed by several famous artists at the request of the association's members.
He was born in the village of Futana, in the Ehime prefecture, on the island of Shikoku. He was born into a humble family of farmers, and his father’s hobby was to do wood carving. Due to the extreme poverty in the area, he had to work as a merchant sailor and newspaper seller in Tokyo in 1920, taking advantage of a correspondence art course.
After a brief return to his family home after the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, he returned to Tokyo in 1925 and joined the National Printing Office where he began experimenting with etching and lead plates. The artist Un’ichi Hiratsuka encouraged him to delve into the art of woodcut and in 1924 he was accepted for the exhibition of the Japan Creative Print Association. From that moment on, he began to work for free, doing engravings, illustrations for books and newspapers, ex-libris and various graphic works, including the preparation of the prints for Senpan Maekawa and Kōshirō Onchi (both of whom greatly influenced his pre-war work). His first works were in line with the “Sōsaku Hanga” movement in monochrome, but he ended up developing a majestic and densely pigmented landscape style, reaching maturity with the “lyofukei” series (“Ten Engravings”, 1936). The journey he went on to sketch this series of engravings aroused in him a love for the mountains of Japan that would lead him to climb them frequently.
He became more and more involved with the “Sōsaku Hanga” community, he contributed to "One Hundred New Views of Japan" in 1939 and 1941. His characteristic style of austerely drawn mountains, of reverberant but gloomy colours, reached full maturity with the series "Yama" ("Mountain", 1940) which would continue until the late 1960s.
After the war he developed the series of illustrations “Mountain people”, and parallel to this, he published a large number of articles and books about mountains, with his own illustrations, starting with “Yama no medama” from 1957.
Like other artists of his generation, he benefitted from the interest of Americans in his work from 1945 onwards. This led to the fact that Oliver Statler would include him in the publication “Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn” (1956); shortly afterwards, he was selected for the volume “The Modern Japanese Print: An Appreciation” published by James A. Michener in 1962.
Hashimoto was born in the Tottori Prefecture and graduated in 1924 as an art teacher at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts. He worked as a school teacher from 1924 to 1955 and did his creations during his free time. Afterwards, he retired from teaching and began a full-time career as an artist.
As a young man he devoted himself to oil painting, but in 1936 he began to do engravings after attending the course by Un'ichi Hiratsuka on woodcut printing in Tokyo. He maintained a close friendship with Hiratsuka and began collaborating on various projects, such as the "Yoyogi-ha" group and the "Kitsutsuki hangashu" collection of illustrations (1943). In 1937 he exhibited for the first time at the "Japanese Print Association" exhibition.
In 1950 he also contributed to the last collection of the “Ichimoku-kay” (“First Thursday Society”) and from that moment on he started to become more well-known, above all after appearing in the volume “Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: An Art Reborn” (1956) published by Oliver Statler.
A large part of his work, both before and after the Pacific War, was inspired by Japanese castles and gardens, including the series “Kojojukei” (“Ten views of old castles”, 1946), but he also produced floral and personage motifs.
Kanamori was born in the Toyama Prefecture. Shiko Munakata settled there, fleeing from the
bombings of Tokyo, then having the opportunity to study woodcut printing with a master in this art. He had previously read about woodcut techniques in "Hanga or Tsukuru Hito" ("For those who want to print with woodcut", 1922) by Nagase Yoshio. Even though he went on to study at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, he did not graduate.
In 1950 he exhibited for the first time with the exhibition “Kokuga-kai” (“National Association of Artists”) and, in the same year, he helped Shiko Munakata to found the local printing magazine “Etchu hanga”. In 1952 he became founding member of “Nihon Hanga-in” (“Japanese Institute of Engraving”). In 1958 he exhibited together with Munakata in a traveling exhibition in the USA. His work was dominated by the austerity of the mountainous landscapes of his native Toyama, but he began to introduce fantastically treated elements, such as birds, flowers, feathers, or butterflies that show a familiar Japanese sentimentality.
He was born in Yokohama in 1895, while working as a schoolteacher he took advantage of his free time to do engravings.
From the beginning, his career was marked by great individualism. After graduating from college, he spent a year in the United States, subsisting on small jobs such as painting houses in Seattle or a fish cannery in Alaska.
Shortly after returning to Japan, he accepted a teaching position in the city of Utsunomiya, to the north of Tokyo, where he would remain for thirty years. Even though he exhibited with the Japan Creative Society at the beginning of the 1920s, he knew few artists and that’s why he was not influenced by them.
Kawakami was fascinated by the strange situations and misunderstandings arising from the arrival of the first foreigners in Japan, and this interest was reflected in many of his engravings. A collector of old books - mainly in English, but also in other languages - and packs of pipe tobacco, he based a number of works on these motifs.
Kawakami's first prints were made from several blocks of wood, but in the 1930s he began printing from a single block, adding colour by hand later, in a procedure that only he used.
Although, in person, Kawakami was little known to other artists in the “Sosaku Hanga” movement, his work was appreciated by the artists who made it up. Onchi Koshiro (1891-1955) regarded Kawakami as an "incomparable artist" and said that there were few artists whom he would "put on par with him."
In 1923 he met Un'ichi Hiratsuka , leader of the “Sosaku-hanga” movement, and in 1925 he moved to Tokyo to join the Kawabata School of Painting where he studied Western painting (Yōga) with Umehara Ryuzauro. At first he worked with oil painting, but under the influence of Hiratsuka and the Yoyogi Group and through “Kokuga-kai” (“National Association of Artists”), he learned woodcut techniques in the 1930s, and in 1940 he devoted himself exclusively to working in engravings.
Maeda formed part of the “Ichimoku-kay” (“The First Thursday Society”) the group led by Onchi Koshiro who followed “Sosaku-hanga” ideas. He also collaborated on the work "One Hundred New Views of Japan" published in 1940; in the two “Kitsutsuki Hanga-shu” collections of 1942-43 and in issues 3-6 of the “Ichimoku-shū” (“First Thursday Society Collections”) published between 1947 and 1950, as well as a “Tokyo Kaiko Zue” (“Scenes of lost Tokyo”, 1945) and “Nihon Minzoku Zufu” (“Native customs of Japan”, 1946). Despite being a typical artist of the “Sosaku-hanga” in many ways showed, however, the influence of native-style painting “Nihonga”. He also produced exquisite mountain scenes in the style of Umetaro Azechi.
Engraving artist, he was part of the “Ichimoku-kay” group (“The First Thursday Society”). According to Sekino Jun'ichirō, during the Pacific War, Doshun worked on carving woodcuts for the reproduction of the famous scroll narrating the failed invasion of Japan in the late 13th century by the Mongols. An event of great propagandistic importance as the war progressed, as it is the origin of the legend of the kamikazes of the myth of Japan as a nation impossible to be invaded by divine protection.
Doshun contributed engravings to the six “Ichimoku-shū” (“First Thursday Society Collections”) of the “Ichimoku-kay” (“The First Thursday Society”), all in bright colours. In 1949 he also designed the cover of the fifth collection.
He is also known as Seimiya Akira and Kiyomiya Akira. He studied Western painting at the school of Hakuba-kai with Kuroda Seiki and wood engraving with the master Goda Kiyoshi. Founding member of the "Fyuzan-kay" society in 1912 and of "Sodosha" in 1915. He contributed to the "Fyuzan" society with engravings. Founding member of the association “Nihon no-Hanga Kyokai” in 1931.
His engravings from the "Fyuzan" period are strongly influenced by fauvism. His later works reflected the study of Chinese woodcut techniques.
He is considered one of the most important children's illustrators of the 20th century in Japan, and his influence is still evident on illustration, manga, animation, graphic design and advertising.
Although his father initially opposed him being a painter, he eventually supported him to enter the University of the Arts in Tokyo, where he studied Western painting and art until 1919.
One of his works was covered in the first issue of the revolutionary children's magazine
“Kodomo no kuni” ("The Land of Children", 1922), and continued to publish it until its disappearance in 1944. He wrote and illustrated his own storybooks, including "Ramu-Ramu O", 1926, as well as other Japanese authors such as Kenji Miyazawa and not Japanese, highlighting his work for the "Thousand and One Nights" or the "Tales of Hans-Christian Andersen." In 1927 he helped found the "Nihon Doga Kyokai" ("Association of Children's Illustrators of Japan").
He was part of the group “Ichimoku-kay” (“The First Thursday Society”). He had a close relation with Onchi Koshiro, both were part of a society called "Han no kai," in which from 1935 onwards New Year's cards were exchanged. In fact, Onchi persuaded Takei to contribute to the 1950 "Ichimoku-shū" ("First Thursday Society Collections").
Born in Hokkaido in 1926, his training and career were delayed by the Pacific War. He served in the Japanese army, but after the conflict he began studying arts at Meiji University in 1951. One of his professors was Fumio Kitaoka, an artist who was very close to the “Sosaku-hanga” movement.
The main themes of his works were landscapes and natural scenes.
In 1973 he joined the artists' association “Nihon Hanga Kyokai” although, since the 1950s, he had already exhibited with this group. In the eighties he went to the United States to perform demonstrations of traditional Japanese woodcut engraving technique.