Andon 51

June 1995

Andon 51

EDITORIAL: Takehisa Yumeji and Ganshôsai Shunsuí are two 20th century artists that feature in this issue of Andon. Takehisa Yumeji, an autodidact, was active as an illustrator and woodblock artist from about 1910. He was not accepted as a serious artist in literary and art circles, but his pictures and poems went straight to the hearts of Japanese adolescents in those days. In about 1918 Yumeji started to paint a series of watercolours as a gift for the Nagasaki art collector Nagami Tokutarô. This series has been studied in detail by Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada and they discuss the individual paintings in relation to the artist's personal experiences and feeIings. Ganshôsai Shunsui's lacquerware has been the subject of an extensive survey by Jan Dees. In this article, lavishly illustrated with colour photographs, he gives a good overview of Shunsui's technical capabilities and the subject matter chosen to decorate his objects. In contrast with what is mentioned in the literature so far the author concludes that Shunsui must have been active as a lacquerer in the first four decades of the 20th century and not a century earlier. An explanation for this remarkable discrepancy might be that Shunsui was probably catering for a market of Western collectors. He made inrô and pipe cases, decorated with classical subjects in a time when these objects were hardly worn in Japan any more. An addendum to 'Love's Labour's Lost' ( Andon No. 45) has been provided by Richard Lane. He shows that in the face of adroít 'restorations', Japanese collectors may be just as easily fooled as Western ones. Finally Matthi Forrer wrote an in memoriam for Jack Hillier, the grand-old-man of Western ukiyo-e experts, who died earlier this year. 

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