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Street Scene

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Sumio Kawakami, Japanese
Kudan Torii Gate , 1945
Ink and colors on paper
7 13/16 x 10 7/8 in. (20 x 28 cm)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Showa (Japan, 1926-1989)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2018.1.48

From the series "Tokyo Kaiko Zue" ("Recollections of Tokyo"), part of a total of 15 designs by various well-known Sosaku Hanga artists. This print is one of the designs contributed by Kawakami to the series.

Source: Merritt, Helen and Nanko Yamada, "Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975," University fo Hawaii Press, 1995, p. 277


Night in Ginza provides a glimpse at the Japan of the 1920s when Western dress and culture was all the rage, when young women, as seen in the foreground of the print, had bobbed hair just like the flappers in the West. These moden garu (modern girl) strolled down the avenues of the fashionable districts like the Ginza. In this print, these women contrast the kimono-clad woman who oddly enough stands with her back turned towards them.

Source: Ukiyo-e to Shin hanga - The Art of Japanese Woodblock Prints, Amy Newland and Chris Uhlenbeck, Brompton Books Corporation, 1990 p. 208, 210.

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ink and colors on paper

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