Hasui Kawase (1883 - 1957)

Hasui Kawase was born at Shiba, Tokyo. From childhood he loved to paint; later he became a pupil of Kiyokata Kaburagi. During the early stages of his art career, Hasui produced only paintings; he became interested in woodblock prints after seeing Shinsui's prints "Eight sight of Ohmi", which were shown at the exhibition. Some of Hasui's small landscape pictures led Shozaburo Watanabe to see his possibilities as print artist. Hasui then did his first color prints from series of sketches made at Shiobara in 1918. Since then he had continued actively producing prints. He passed away in November 27, 1957 in Tokyo. Hasui is one of Japan’s best known artists of the "Shin Hanga" movement. His prints, landscapes and town views, were created in traditional Japanese style with Western elements. Hasui had a very close cooperation with the publisher Watanabe. In the fires following the devastating earthquake in 1923, over a hundred blocks produced so far, were destroyed. In 1956, one year before his death, the artist was declareda Living National Treasure. These prints were published by Watanabe publisher.