Figure at WorkOkiie Hashimoto is one of the giants of Japanese woodcut printmaking. His prints are quintessentially Japanese, but showcase his global influences.

Figure at WorkOkiie Hashimoto is one of the giants of Japanese woodcut printmaking. His prints are quintessentially Japanese, but showcase his global influences.

“Hashimoto insisted on the artist’s involvement in the process from inception of the idea, through to making the cut and print."

Hashimoto was born in 1899 in the Tottori Prefecture, a southern region of the main island of Honshu. Having spent most of his life as the assistant principal of the first girls’ high school in Tokyo, it was his life’s work as a printmaker that has made him a beloved figure of Japanese art history.

Hashimoto graduated in 1924 after studying to become an art teacher, specializing in watercolours. Around the same time, he attended Hiratsuka Un’ichi’s short course in woodblock painting, the practice that would produce his most recognizable work. Hashimoto was welcomed into Un’ichi’s circle of artists and friends, the Yoyogi group, an iconic group of woodblock printmakers working in the sōsaku-hanga style, also known as “creative prints”.

But it wasn’t until Hashimoto encoun...

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