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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

“Woman Folding Kimono” by Goyō Hashiguchi

Hashiguchi Goyo - Woman Folding Kimono

“Woman Folding Kimono” by Goyō Hashiguchi

“Woman Folding Kimono” by Goyō Hashiguchi is a colour woodblock print, from 1920’s Japan. The artist, Goyo’s had a late call to the traditional woodblock print after a career of illustration in other media. He was inspired by the old techniques and admiration for the great portraits of beautiful women by Kitagawa Utamaro (1753 – 1806). The extraordinary beauty and technical excellence have made his prints among the most sought-after Japanese prints.

Goyō Hashiguchi

Goyō Hashiguchi’s perfectionism led to him publishing only a handful of prints, each one technically excellent with a nostalgic passion for the art form. The exceptional wood cutting of the blocks to portray the intricacies of women’s hair was an Ukiyo-e tradition which Goyo has enthusiastically revived. The prints impact is also enhanced by him restricting his palette to a few primary colours. Hashiguchi had a short period of only two years to produce these superb masterworks before he died aged forty-two.

Goyo Hashiguchi was a samurai and a Shijo-style painter who was a perfectionist and who set up his own workshop a few years before his death. His standards were so high that most of his editions ran to no more than eighty prints. Goyo died having completed only 14 prints (13 plus one published by Watanabe), later members of Goyo’s family brought some of his unfinished works to completion.

Kimono

The kimono is a traditional Japanese garment. During the Edo period (1603–1867 AD), the basic shape of the current Kimono developed for both the men’s and women’s kimono, and it has remained virtually unchanged. Kimonos made with exceptional skill from excellent materials are regarded as great works of art.

Today, Kimonos are often worn for essential festivals and formal occasions as formal clothing. Kimono are generally worn with traditional footwear and split-toe socks. Some older women and men still wear kimono daily. Men wear the kimono most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other formal occasions. Professional sumo wrestlers are often seen in the kimono because they are required to wear traditional Japanese dress whenever appearing in public.

Woman Folding Kimono

  • Title:                    Woman Folding Kimono
  • Japanese:            日本語: 「着物をたたむ女」
  • Artist:                  Goyō Hashiguchi
  • Published:          1920
  • Culture:               Japanese
  • Writing:               Japanese
  • Material:             Woodblock print on paper
  • Dimensions:      H: 45 cm (17.7 in); W: 32 cm (12.5 in)
  • Museum:            Walters Art Museum

Goyō Hashiguchi

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Japanese Idioms, Quotes, and Proverbs

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“Wake from death and return to life.”

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“Pulling water to my rice paddy.”

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“An apprentice near a temple will recite the scriptures untaught.”

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“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”

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“Giving birth to a baby is easier than worrying about it.”

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“Evil cause, evil effect.”

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“Ten men, ten colours.”

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“An apprentice near a temple will recite the scriptures untaught.”

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“One’s act, one’s profit.”

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“One life, one encounter.”

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“The weak are meat; the strong eat.”

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“Ocean thousand mountain thousand.”

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Different body, same mind.”

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“Not knowing is Buddha.”

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“Beautiful person, thin life.”

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“Spilt water will not return to the tray.”

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“Work of self, obtainment of self.”

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“If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub.”

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“Child of a frog is a frog.”

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“Even monkeys fall from trees.”

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“Gold coins to a cat.”

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“A frog in a well does not know the great sea.”

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“Unless an idiot dies, he won’t be cured.”

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“One who chases after two hares won’t catch even one.”

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“Dumplings rather than flowers.”

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“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”
– Japanese Proverb

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Photo Credit: 1) Goyō Hashiguchi [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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