Kawase Hasui

Kawase Hasui   (1883 - 1957)


A printmaker who was also known as the "Poet of Travelling Emotions",
was active in the Taisho and Showa periods and left numerous woodblock prints of landscapes.

Born in 1883 in Shiba Ward (now Minato Ward), Tokyo.
At the age of 25, he took over his father's family business, but he could not give up his dream of becoming a painter and knocked on the door of the Japanese painter Kaburaki Kiyokata, but his late start in his mid-20s proved difficult and he was directed towards a career as a Western-style painter.

He studied Western-style painting under Okada Saburōsuke.
However, he experienced setbacks in the world of Western-style painting,
and in 1910 (Meiji 43), at the age of 27, he was allowed to reapply for admission to Kiyokata,
who had once refused to accept him, and was given the painting title 'Hasui'.

His debut was well received and he spent his life traveling,
sketching landscapes wherever he went and returning to Tokyo to work on his prints.

In 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake burnt down Hasui's house
and his sketchbooks were reduced to ashes. In the face of such adversity,
his publisher, Watanabe Shozaburo, pushed Hasui back and sent him on his travels again.
This was a 102-day sketching trip from Tokyo to the Hokuriku, Chugoku, and Kinki regions,
the longest in Hasui's life.