Yoshitoshi Mori Biography

Yoshitoshi Mori




Printmaker and textile artist Yoshitoshi Mori was born in Tokyo in 1898. He studied at the Kawabata Painting School (based in Tokyo from 1909 - 1945), working primarily in textile arts and eventually befriending Serizawa Keisuke and Yanagi Soetsu, founder of the mengei folk art and craft movement. They introduced him to stencil-dying techniques, which would directly influence the development of his printmaking technique.   

In the 1950s, several decades into his career, Yoshitoshi he began experimenting with printmaking and the sosaka hanga movement. He soon gravitated toward the stencil technique kappazuri, involving a single-color block print that was then colored by stenciling. This would become his primary focus for the rest of his career. He stripped down his works into stylized, earth-toned depictions of daily life. He is credited with influencing the work of artists Hiromitsu Takahashi and Shiko Munakata.

Yoshitoshi exhibited in several solo shows in Japan in the 1960s, and in 1966 went to the U.S. to mount traveling show sponsored by the Japan Society, New York. By 1977 he had participated in 33 international exhibitions and group shows. In 1984 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Maryland University, and in 1991 he was honored by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for his contribution to Japan's art world. He died in 1992, just after a solo show held at the Wako Gallery in Tokyo.