Hiroshi Yoshida (吉田 博 Yoshida Hiroshi?, September 19, 1876 - April 5, 1950) ('Hiroshi' - generous, 'Yoshida' - 'lucky rice field') was a 20th-century Japanese painter and woodblock print maker. He is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the shin-hanga style, and is noted especially for his excellent landscape prints. Yoshida travelled widely, and was particularly known for his images of non-Japanese subjects done in traditional Japanese woodblock style, including the Taj Mahal, the Swiss Alps, the Grand Canyon, and other National Parks in the USA.
Hiroshi Yoshida (born Hiroshi Ueda) was born in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka, in Kyushu, on September 19, 1876. 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 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 the 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 same blocks and varied the color to suggest different mood. 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 were published. Six of these were views of the Taj Mahal in different moods and colors.
The Yoshida family legacy
The artistic lineage of the Yoshida family of eight artists: Kasaburo Yoshida (1861-1894), whose wife Rui Yoshida was an artist; Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950), whose wife Fujio Yoshida (1887-1987) was an artist; 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.
- Allen, Laura W. A Japanese Legacy: Four Generations of Yoshida Family Artists. Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Chicago: Art Media Resources, c2002.
- Hiroshi Yoshida. http://spectacle.berkeley.edu/~fiorillo/texts/shinhangatexts/shinhanga_pages/yoshida3.html. Retrieved September 3, 2006.
- "The American Travels of Yoshida Hiroshi", Eugene M. Skibbe, in Andon 43, January 1993, pp. 59-74,
- Yoshida Hiroshi The Complete Woodblock Prints of Yoshida Hiroshi. Abe Publishing Co, Tokyo, 1987.
- Yoshida Toshi & Rei Yuki "Japanese Printmaking, A Handbook of Traditional & Modern Techniques". Charles E. Tuttle Co.Inc, Rutland, Vermont & Tokyo, Japan: c1966.
- Blakeley, Ben B. "Yoshida Hiroshi Print-maker". Tokyo, Japan: Foreign Affairs Association of Japan, 1953
- Yoshida, Hiroshi. Japanese Wood-Block Printing. Tokyo & Osaka: Sanseido Co., Ltd, 1939