Takeji Asano Biography

Takeji Asano




Born in Kyoto in 1900, Takeji Asano studied art in his youth. He graduated from the Kyoto City School of Fine Arts and Crafts in 1919 and from the Kyoto City Specialist School of Painting in 1923. One of his early teachers was the artist and printmaker Tsuchida Bakusen, with whom he studied Japanese-style painting. Asano helped to organize the Kyoto Creative Print Society (Kyoto Sosaku-Hanga Kyokai) in 1929.

In 1930, Asano contributed several designs to a series of prints titled "Creative Prints of Twelve Months in new Kyoto" (Sosaku-hanga shin Kyoto junikagetsu). These prints were published by Uchida. The other artists contributing to this series were Benji Asada and Tomikichiro Tokuriki, also members of the Kyoto Creative Print Society. Asano's work as a shin hanga print designer continued throughout the 1930's, but along the way he learned the skills of carving and printing. This enabled him to create his own self-carved and self-printed series of landscape prints titled "Noted Views in the Kyoto-Osaka Area" (Kinki meisho fukei) in 1947.

During the 1950's, Asano designed numerous landscape prints for the publisher Unsodo. These popular landscape prints are still being reprinted today. Original Unsodo prints have the Japanese date printed in the margin, while the modern reprints lack the date. Asano continued to work as a printmaker during the 1970's and 80's. These late prints were simple and often humorous, signed with the letters T.A. and the date.

This information has been excerpted from Merritt and Yamada's Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975.