South Island Festival Girl—C ("Nantou Matsuri Zu - C") by Ryusei Yoshimi Okamoto

South Island Festival Girl—C (Nantou Matsuri Zu - C) by Ryusei Yoshimi Okamoto

South Island Festival Girl—C ("Nantou Matsuri Zu - C")

Ryusei Yoshimi Okamoto

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South Island Festival Girl—C ("Nantou Matsuri Zu - C")

color woodcut 
Image Size
17 1/8 x 13 3/4" image 
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
A.P., outside published edition of 350 
pencil titled in Japanesel pencil editioned 
included in 1982 CWAJ print show in Tokyo 
ivory, laid Japanese 
Inventory ID

Yoshimi Okamoto, born Ryusei Okamoto in 1949, created a series of posters for a Japanese southern island festival in 1982. He printed this image in a variety of colorways, one of which was chosen for exhibition by the College Women’s Association of Japan show that same year. In addition to the color woodblock printing, he’s embossed a delicate, un-inked pattern in the collar of the kimono. Unlike other impressions, he has forgone color in the background of the portrait and chosen instead a transparent, mica-flecked wash.

”South Island Festival Girl - C” (Natou Matsuri Zu) is an exemplary, early-career image by Okamoto, showing his precise detailing and his interest in subtle tonality. It is a contemporary portrait of a beauty dressed for a festival in Okinawa. She wears a navy blue kimono with a floral print and has a sash tied around her forehead adorned with exotic blossoms and leaves. The oval portrait inset is surrounded by a view of ships and islands in a bold graphic style.

Printmaker Ryusei Yoshimi Okamoto was born in Muroran, Hokkaido province, Japan, in 1949. Though he exhibited an early interest in art, he pursued marine biology at Nihon University. Following graduation he took courses in woodblock printmaking from master printmaker and painter Toshi Yoshida, studying at various times from 1974 to 1984. He would eventually become a full-time artist.

In addition to traditional woodcut techniques, Okamoto will sometimes incorporate other printmaking mediums to his works, including silkscreen and the inclusion of gofun powder or gold leaf. In the mid-1980s he began working in series, a la the Japanese masters of previous generations. Among these series are "Children of Asia", "First Love", "White Fox", "Clown Series", and "Fossils". Known in particular for his images of children and mythical young women, his traditional woodcut work is equally significant, depicting scenes of villages, landscapes, and the daily lives of Japanese people in compositions that are among the finest in contemporary Japanese prints.

Okamoto exhibits regularly with the prestigious College Women's Association of Japan, a non-profit organization that began holding print exhibitions at the Tokyo American Club in 1956. His print "Shy Clown" was chosen by the organization as the imperial gift print for Her Majesty the Empress Michiko in 1980. That same year, Okamoto began teaching, having been invited by Yoshida to teach in his place at the Mendocino Art Center in California, USA.

Ryusei Yoshimi Okamoto continues to live and work in Kanagawa, Japan.


Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email to purchase this item.