Hiroshi Yoshida Biography

Hiroshi Yoshida




Hiroshi Yoshida (born Hiroshi Ueda) was born in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka, in Kyushu, on September 19, 1876. Yoshida was the second son of Ueda Tsukane, a schoolteacher from an old samurai family.  In 1891 he was adopted by his art teacher Yoshida Kasaburo in Fukuoka and took his surname. He showed an early aptitude for art fostered by his adoptive father, a teacher of painting in the public schools. At age 19 he was sent to Kyoto to study under Tamura Shoryu, a well known teacher of western style painting. He then studied under Koyama Shotaro, in Tokyo, for another three years.

In 1899, Yoshida had his first American exhibition at Detroit Museum of Art (now Detroit Institute of Art). He then traveled to Boston, Washington, D.C., Providence, Rhode Island and Europe. In 1920, Yoshida presented his first woodcut at the Watanabe Print Workshop, organized by Watanabe Shōzaburō (1885-1962), publisher and advocate of the shin-hanga movement. However, Yoshida’s collaboration with Watanabe was short partly due to the Great Kanto earthquake on September 1, 1923.

In 1925, he hired a group of professional carvers and printers, and established his own studio. Prints were made under his close supervision. Yoshida combined the ukiyo-e collaborative system with the sōsaku-hanga principle of "artist's prints", and formed a third school, separating himself from the shin-hanga and sōsaku-hanga movement.

Hiroshi Yoshida was trained in the Western oil painting tradition, which was adopted in Japan during the Meiji period. Yoshida often used the same blocks and varied the color to suggest different moods. The best example of such is 'Sailing Boats' in 1921. Yoshida’s extensive travel and acquaintance with Americans influenced his art considerably. In 1931 a series of prints depicting scenes from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Singapore was published. Six of these were views of the Taj Mahal in different moods and colors.

At the age of 73, Yoshida took his last sketching trip to Izu and Nagaoka and painted his last works The Sea of Western Izu and The Mountains of Izu.  He became sick on the trip and returned to Tokyo where he died April 5, 1950 at his home.  He was buried at Ryuun-in Temple, Kosihikawa, Tokyo.

The artistic lineage of the Yoshida family of eight artists: Kasaburo Yoshida (1861-1894), whose wife Rui Yoshida was an artist; their daughter Fujio Yoshida (1887-1987); Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950), their adopted son, who married Fujio; Tōshi Yoshida (1911-1995), Hiroshi's son, whose wife Kiso Yoshida (1919-2005) was an artist; Hodaka Yoshida (1926-1995), another of Hiroshi's sons, whose wife Chizuko Yoshida (1924- ) and daughter Ayomi Yoshida (1958- ) are artists.

This group, four men and four women spanning four generations, provides an interesting perspective in looking at Japanese history and art development in the turbulent 20th Century. Although they inherit the same tradition, the Yoshida family artists work in different styles with different sensibilities.

biography drawn from Wikipedia and other sources.