Port of Sasebo by Tomikichiro Tokuriki

Port of Sasebo by Tomikichiro Tokuriki

Port of Sasebo

Tomikichiro Tokuriki

Title

Port of Sasebo

 
Artist
Year
1952  
Technique
color woodcut 
Image Size
14 3/16 x 9 3/8" image size 
Signature
unsigned proof 
Edition Size
proof, from outside the edition of 200 
Annotations
in Japanese: title of work stamped in in upper left margin; "Edition complete" stamped in lower right 
Reference
 
Paper
soft cream laid 
State
published 
Publisher
artist, under his publishing company, Matsukyu 
Inventory ID
24855 
Price
SOLD
Description

An image of Sasebo port in Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan. In the foreground is the silhouette of the Miuracho Catholic Church, with the shipbuilding port - catering to the U.S. Fleet navy base by 1952 - seen just beyond. In the background are the forms of the Kuju-ku Islands, known for their pearl farms.

Prior to 1886, Sasebo had been a small village. As the Japanese Empire began establishing its global military status, Sasebo's deep, protected harbor and proximity to China and Korea, made it an ideal place to establish a Naval district. In 1902 Sasebo City was formally founded. During World War II the U.S. added it to its list of possible places to drop and atomic bomb; though the weapon was ultimately not used the city, the U.S. carpet-bombed Sasebo anyhow, and 48 percent of the city was destroyed.

Tokuriki's work was known for two distince styles: his own sosaku-hanga designs whose Modernist leanings allowed for creative freedom, and shin-hanga style designs, traditional Japanese landscapes that appealed more to Westerners - who, by 1952, had become a predominant buyer of his work as the U.S. set up military bases throughout Japan.

Despite his preference for sosaku-hanga, Tokuriki's shin-hanga work was equally hailed for its soft and nuanced qualities.