Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) is considered one of the most important Japanese landscape artists of the 20th century. His prints, produced under the guidance and stern eye of his publisher, Watanabe Shtzaburt, are the modern continuation of the unforgettable works by Hiroshige and Hokusai, the 19th-century masters of this genre. As none other, he could evoke Japan of the eventful interwar period. With the exception of a single print, his main oeuvre is shown in its entirety in full colour in this new publication. Also included are the prints Hasui produced for other publishers, including pieces never before reproduced, as well as monochrome illustrations of miscellaneous prints, such as postcards, doll prints and others. Fifty-seven prints are shown in alternative states. Hasui's work enjoyed huge popularity from his very first print of 1918. In contrast to his illustrious 19th-century predecessors, his work was immediately successful in the rest of the world. His publisher, Watanabe Shtzaburt, recognized the enormous potential of the American market, which resulted in Hasui's prints fetching high prices at auctions in New York as early as the 1920s. After the Second World War, his prints were highly desired and sought after collectible items among the American occupying forces in Japan. Hasui's work has always been greatly appreciated in Japan: He was acknowledged as a 'Living National Treasure' in 1965, but it was only in 1977 that one of the 'grand old men' in the field of prints in Japan, Narazaki Muneshige, wrote a splendid monograph. His book, which is only very occasionally available at antiquarian bookshops, is now being replaced by this new complete, bilingual (English-Japanese)publication. Hotei Publishing produced this book in close cooperation with the daughter and grandson of the original publisher of 90% of Hasui's oeuvre, Watanabe Shtzaburt. The best examples of Hasui's work have been selected f
"These attractively slipcased volumes, formatted
to enable the user to view the plate while reading
the pertinent commentary and data, are
something that all collectors and admirers of
Hasui will want to own."
Peter Dailey in Impressions
"These two sumptuous volumes must surely be
the very last word on the best known of all Shin
Hanga print designers, the landscape artist
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957). (...) The meticulous
scholarship of this catalogue is a fitting tribute to
half a century of patient craftmanship and
atmospheric scene scetting."
Joe Earle in The Art Newspaper