Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Full Moon At Hinuma

Tomorrow (October 12 in Japan) there will be a full moon. It will be a "Hunter's Moon" - the farthest, and thus smallest, full Moon of the year. I hope the weather cooperates so that we can view it.

I was surprised to come across this woodblock print of a full moon over Lake Hinuma (1946) by Hasui Kawase 川瀬 巴水 (1883-1957):

I had no idea that Lake Hinuma, where we spend so many days sailing each year, was ever the subject of a woodblock print - let alone by such a famous artist. Kawase was one of the most prolific Japanese artists of the early 20th century. Unfortunately, most of his early wood blocks were destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.

He was part of the "shin hanga" (new print) movement. Unlike Edo Period woodblock artists who designed, cut the blocks, and printed their own art, shin hanga artists split the tasks between artist, wood cutter, and printer, and gave credit to each for their contribution to the finished product. Shin hanga artists also worked to create limited edition pieces which were not to be mass produced like the famous ukiyo-e pieces were.

Kawase's subjects were mostly landscapes, and the places he chose to depict were not famous places in Tokyo and evirons, but rather picturesque rural areas which still had the appeal of being more natural and undeveloped parts of a rapidly changing Japan.

Well, I must say that it is those same characteristics which led me to settle in Ibaraki and to choose Lake Hinuma as home for our sailboat Bluesette. Full Moon At Hinuma captures well the serenity we find there.

Until next, sweet sailing.


Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

A nice find, Panda, in both senses of the word!

Martin J Frid said...

Lovely print and as Doc says, a nice find. If you keep looking you may find more. Looking forward to visiting again!

bonnie said...


Sandscraper said...


I think that a party at your house is in order, all your contributors could take advantage of japan's offer to give away 10,000.00 free round trip tickets. We could all sail on the Lido , go to Mama's for lunch and crash at your place. What do you think?

Pandabonium said...

Thanks Doc.

Martin - Should be fun. I'm watching the weather so that this time we get rained on.

Thanks Bonnie.

Sandscaper - in our little cottage we trip over each other as it is, and besides, the house is too far from the lake. Better you bring sleeping bags and camp out at the Yacht Harbor. ;^)

Arkonbey said...

Ohhhh, do I love ukiyo-e prints.

I think a wealthy psychiatrist whose house I worked in (installing thirteen interior doors with my contractor father-in-law) had an original (I could see indentations in the paper made by the blocks) by Kawase. The style is so similar.


Sweet Enemy knows my love and bought me a big book called: Yoshitoshi's Women

Thanks for posting that piece!

Pandabonium said...

Arkonbey - glad you like it. That book is neat. I like ukiyo-e too and used to get a calendar of them each year from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

My print is a "Heisei edition" (after 1989), from the original blocks. The blocks remained with the original publisher, Watanabe Print Shop. (The grandson nof Watanabe Shozaburo decided to run them again.) So, it is an "original", but since it is recent, the price was a fraction of one printed during Kawase's lifetime.

Arkonbey said...

From the same blocks? Wow. Just: Wow.

Still cool.

Martin J Frid said...

Arkonbey, I love those indents on real wood block prints too. I think "tactile" is the word I'm looking for.

P, what is the planet near the full moon this month? Very clear and bright both last night and tonight.

Sandscraper said...

Otsuki-Sama, konbanwa!!!

Pandabonium said...

Martin - that's Jupiter.

Sandscraper - next post.