Snow in Kamigamo Shrine, Kyoto


Takeji Asano – Snow in Kamigamo Shrine, Kyoto (Asano Takeji – Kamigamo jinja yuki)

Original woodblock print. The first edition of this design was published in 1953. The current print was printed in the Reiwa period (2019 – present).

This is one of the most famous woodblock prints by Takeji Asano. He made the design when he was active as an artist for the publisher Unsodo. During that time he made a number of prints with typical Shin-Hanga themes, as can be seen in this print. It features an imposing temple gate, the beauty of the red gate enhanced with a cover and surroundings of white snow and a man and a woman defying the winter cold to visit. Famous places, the beauty of nature and a human element together with them are a common presence in many Shin-Hanga prints, but not often in as perfect a composition as Takeji Asano created here.

The tower gate depicted is the Romon Gate of the Kamigamo Shrine temple complex in Kyoto, one of the oldest and most important Shinto shrines of Japan, where to this day many people come to pray.

Image size (excluding margins): 36.5 * 24.0 cm (14.4 * 9.4 in).

The print is in excellent condition.

The pictures shown here are from the print itself.

Takeji Asano(1900-1999) combines several of the typical activities of 20th century woodblock artists. He was trained at art schools in Kyoto and started out with oil painting. He then transitioned to woodblock printing within the Sōsaku-hanga (creative prints) movement. As such, he created prints from start to finish, drawing, carving and printing them himself. In the 1950 he switched to the process used by the Shin-hanga (new prints) movement which adhered to the division of labor used by traditional ukiyo-e artists. For these prints he only drew and cooperated with carver, printer and publisher to achieve the final result. Later on he turned to a more individualistic and novel style and kept creating until the very last years of his long life.

An overview of the woodblock prints by Takeji Asano can be found here.

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