Etching, dry point, woodblock print, 30 x 21 3/8 inches, by Noboru Sawai. Shows a large plate of fish on the table, with four small plates above on the wall. It celebrates a catch of fish caught by fishermen living on an island in the Inland Sea of Japan, where Noboru was born. The plump fish have been expertly and beautifully drawn, using a combination of printmaking techniques. The large plate has a border of naked figures echoing Picasso; the small plates have images taken from Japanese and Western sexual art. The emotional clash of Asian and Western cultures in a Japanese person is Noboru's perennial theme. Noboru studied with Toshi Yoshida and presently has a studio in Vancouver, Canada.
Woodblock print, 14.75 x 16.75 inches. Another black and white lioness, with head down on a rock outcropping. This black and white image has been taken from the key block used for the larger, full color woodblock print, Peaceful Wild Animals, 1974, by Toshi. It shows the incredibly fine, detailed carving Toshi was able to do. The lines for the fur, for example, have been carved in the wood in a way that delineates the shape of the muscles in the body and the light reflected off of them. For a carver to do this without additional shading, shows great skill and artistry. The complete full color print shows all three animals together on a rock in the vast African savannah. This extra large print was carved from a single block of cherry wood. St.Olaf College has the entire large black and white key block impression, slightly cropped, in its collection.
9.5 x 14.75 inches woodblock print. Study of an Asian farmhouse surrounded by trees with a forest in the background. Son of Toshi Yoshida and third generation of Yoshida family artists. It shows a typical old Japanese farmhouse, with trees and plowed field. These have been rendered simply and directly, yet with quiet respect for rural life. It is one of Tsukasa's earliest prints, one without an apparent deeper level of meaning. Tsukasa is youngest son of Toshi Yoshida and part of the fourth generation of Yoshida family artists.
15.5 x 10.5 in. Electric blue and dark blue gestural. A totally abstract image with an almost electric blue crackling across a ground of dark blue with black tracery. It belongs to a series of the earliest abstract prints that Toshi began creating in 1951-2. As Hiroshi Yoshida's eldest son,Toshi inherited the Yoshida Studio in Tokyo.
9.5 x 14.75 inches. Woodblock print of five birds standing in water with another bird flying overhead with leaves falling and the sun rising in the forest background. Son of Toshi Yoshida and third generation of Yoshida family artists. First light shining on the tops of trees, the fog, the falling leaves, and on the bird flying, but not on the birds walking on the shore which seem to lack full reality. Again, Tsukasa seems to point to a deeper level of meaning than the ordinary visual level. Perhaps this print suggests that the viewer needs an awakening that must come to him or her, surrounded as we all are in dark shadows. Tsukasa is a meticulous artist who carves and prints his own blocks. He is the son of Toshi Yoshida and is now the head of the Yoshida Studio in Tokyo where he teaches students.
Print - woodblock. 7.5" x 10.25"; matted 15" x 17.5". Profile of a black panther with a gold eye and brilliant gold background. By means of exquisite carving, the artist draws attention to the piercing eye and the sheen on the black fur. When he was a youth, Toshi's grandmother urged him to study animals and draw them. He became one of the top wildlife artists in the world in the woodblock medium. He was given a French prize for his series of 12 children's books, taking the young reader on a tour of the African savannah, its flora and fauna. He belongs to the third generation of Yoshida family artists.
Woodblock print, 9.75 x 14.5 inches. Cherry blossoms in early spring in the foreground, a bridge over a stream with figures and buildings, and in the background a spa,trees, and mountains - all in delicate muted green, pink and brown. The artist captures what, for any Japanese person, is a nostalgic moment in an ideal setting. Unseen here are clouds of war gathering. Hiroshi was historically the most important artist in the Yoshida family. About 1900 and following, Americans bought many of his watercolors and, after the war, many of his prints. Yoshida Hiroshi is a second generation Yoshida family artist, who established the Yoshida Studio in Tokyo. The Yoshida family of artists began with Yoshida KasaburÃ´ (1861-1894), then next Yoshida Hiroshi (1876-1950) and his wife Fujio (1887-1987), then their sons Toshi (1911-1995) with his wife Kiso (1919-2005) and Hodaka (1926-1995) with his wife Chizuko (1924- ) and daughter Ayomi (1958- ).
Woodblock print, 17.25 x 11.5 inches, by Ando (or Utagawa) Hiroshige; a modern copy printed with different size blocks. It shows three figures at night, one, perhaps a merchant seated on a horse and smoking a pipe, with two others standing alongside, near a fire. The village lies before them. Hiroshige (1792-1858) was one of the most important Ukiyo-e artists. His woodblock prints always have corners that are indented as here.
Woodblock print, 21.5 X 27.75 inches. A beautiful blue and green abstract wave seems to loom up and forward, its open spaces forming a face with small drops as eyes. The artist is being playful, his image a gesture. His print stands in sharp contrast to the greatest wave in Japanese art history, Hokusai's "Under the Great Wave at Kanagawa."
16 x 11 inches. Woodcut relief print. Figures in foreground; purple, brown and orange village and background. Posthumously printed by Toshi Yoshida, Hiroshiâ€™s eldest son and heir to studio. It shows cherry blossoms and figures in fr ont of a Buddhist structure and bridge on the outskirts of Tokyo. Hiroshi was a very important oil painter, watercolorist, and woodblock artist. His style has been called "Romantic Realism." He would portray a scene in nature, usually in Japan but also in the United States, in a light that would evoke deep feelings in the viewer. Within the shin hanga, or new print movement, his work is distinct. Some of his most admired prints have long been out of print. Toshi, his son, used Hiroshi's same woodblocks and pigments to print new editions of these works, this print being example. Hiroshi was the leading second generation artist in the Yoshida family.
Blue brown red, nude woman in right corner. . A subway train, underground, is arriving at the station Yarakusho, having a large advertisement showing a nude woman. Black, gray, blue, brown, and red. The implication is sexual. The overtness is a challenge to both Japanese and Western sensitivity. Noboru made this print while being a student at the Yoshida Studio in Tokyo. Back again in Japan, after a number of years in the United States, this seems to be evidence of the artist's internal pain resulting from changing from Japanese culture to Western culture and back again to Japanese culture. This clash of cultures became the main subject matter in Noboru's career.
9.5 x 13.5 in. Woodblock and zinc plate print, mountain landscape with trees in foreground. The actual title Toshi gave this print is "Early Spring in Azumino". It shows an early morning view of a Japanese mountain, forest, and Shinto temple. The zinc plate made it possible to print the very fine dark lines of the trees, and that suggests that a photograph was used as the first stage in doing this. Prints like this were given to Japanese newlyweds in the temple, thus the label on this work "Charity." It implies a gift of love. Toshi was part of the third generation of Yoshida family artists.