Kanae Yamamoto

Oct 24, 1882 - Oct 8, 1946

Kanae Yamamoto was a Japanese artist, known primarily for his prints and yōga Western-style paintings. He is credited with originating the sōsaku-hanga movement, which aimed at self-expressive printmaking, in contrast to the commercial studio systems of ukiyo-e and shin-hanga. He initiated movements in folk arts and children's art education that continue to be influential in Japan.
Kanae trained as a wood engraver in the Western style before studying Western-style painting. While at art school he executed a two-colour print of a fisherman he had sketched on a trip to Chiba. Its publication ignited an interest in the expressive potential of prints that developed into the sōsaku-hanga movement. Kanae spent 1912 to 1916 in Europe and brought ideas back to Japan gleaned from exhibitions of peasant crafts and children's art in Russia. In the late 1910s he founded movements the promotion of creative peasant crafts and in children's art education; the latter quickly gained adherents but was suppressed under Japan's growing militarism. These ideas experienced a revival after World War II.
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