MIZUDORI TO SAKANA-TACHI or WATERFOWL AND FISH
by Asano Takeji
Asano Takeji, born in Kyoto in 1900, began to study art as a youth and graduated from the Kyoto City School of Fine Arts and Crafts in 1919, and later from the Kyoto City Specialist School of Painting in 1923. One of his teachers was noted artist and printmaker Tsuchida Bakusen, who along with Asano helped to organize the Kyoto Creative Print Society (Kyoto Sosaku-hanga Kyoka) in 1929.
The following year, Asano and some other members of the society contributed designs for a series of prints entitled “Creative Prints of Twelve Months in New Kyoto” (Sosaku-hanga shin Kyoto Junikagetsu), which were published by noted printer Uchida. As time went on, Asano extended his skills in print design, carving and printing; thus, enabling him to create both self-carved and self-printed landscape prints.
In 1947, he created the series “Kinki Meisho Fukei” or “Famous Places in Kinki (the Kyoto-Osaka region), displaying a high level of technical skill. His fame continued to grow through the 1950s with the series “Kinki Hakkei,” (Eight Views of Kinki), and the series “Tokyuo Meisho” or “Famous Places of Tokyo – all self-carved and self-printed.
Asano died in 1999 at the young age of 99.
This particular print, “Mizudori to Sakana-tachi” or “Waterfowl and Fish,” dated 1976, is very indicative of his Shin-hanga style – bold, humorous, semi-abstract.