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“Woman Powdering Her Neck” by Goyō Hashiguchi

"Woman Powdering Her Neck" by Goyō Hashiguchi

“Woman Powdering Her Neck”

by Goyō Hashiguchi

“Woman Powdering Her Neck” by Goyō Hashiguchi is a colour woodblock print, from 1920’s Japan. The artist, Goyo, had a late calling 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).

Goyō Hashiguchi’s perfectionism led to his publishing only a handful of prints, each one technically excellent with a nostalgic passion for the art of the period. The exceptional wood cutting of the black blocks to portray the intricacies of women’s hair was an Ukiyo-e tradition which Goyo has enthusiastically revived. To ensure a significant impact, he also restricted his palette to a few colours. Hashiguchi had a short period of only two years to produce these superb masterworks, apart from his first print published with Watanabe before he died aged forty-two.

His blocks for fourteen prints and many of the prints were destroyed in the Great Kantō earthquake of 1923. Most reprints are marked with a small seal in the side margin, something which does not appear on original prints. Today works by Goyō are among the most highly prized of all Shin-Hanga prints.

Goyō Hashiguchi

Goyō Hashiguchi (1880 – 1921) was a Japanese artist, whose father, Hashiguchi Kanemizu, was a samurai and amateur painter in the Shijō style. His father hired a teacher for him in the Kano style of painting when Kiyoshi was only ten. Kiyoshi attended the Tokyo School of Fine Arts and graduated best in his class in 1905.

He then became a serious student of ukiyo-e. He was especially interested in the great classical ukiyo-e artists and wrote several articles about Utamaro, Hiroshige and Harunobu. In 1915, urged by the shin-hanga publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō, he designed a print for artisans to produce under Watanabe’s direction. In 1916-1917 as supervisor of reproductions for 12 volumes called “Japanese Color Prints” and in the process became thoroughly familiar with the functions of artisan carvers and printers.

From 1918 until his death he supervised the carving, printing, and publication of his works. He produced thirteen more prints, four landscapes, one nature print and eight prints of women. After his death, a few more of his designs were developed into prints by his heirs.

Woman Powdering Her Neck

  • Title:               Woman Powdering Her Neck
  • Artist:              Goyō Hashiguchi
  • Published:       1918
  • Culture:           Japanese
  • Material:         Woodblock print on paper
  • Dimensions:    Height: 54.6 cm (21.4 in); Width: 39 cm (15.3 in)
  • Museum:         Walters Art Museum

Goyō Hashiguchi

Explore the Walters Art Museum

Reflections

  • 1920’s Japanese woodblock print from the Master.

Japanese Proverb and Sayings

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“Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”

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“One’s act, one’s profit.”

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

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

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“Take a loss, make a gain.”

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“Pulling water to my own rice paddy.”

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“The weak are meat; the strong eat.”

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

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“Ocean thousand mountain thousand.”

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“Dumplings rather than flowers.”

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“Different body, same mind.”

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“One life, one encounter.”

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“Mixed with red ink, anything turns red.”

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

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“Ten men, ten colours.”

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“Teaching Buddhism to the Buddha.”

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“Beautiful person, thin life.”

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“Work of self, obtainment of self.”

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“Child of a frog is a frog.”

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“Even monkeys fall from trees.”

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“Not knowing is Buddha.”

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“Spilt water will not return to the tray.”

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“An undisturbed God wreaks no vengeance.”

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“Gold coins to a cat.” “Evil cause, evil effect.”

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“Too much of something is the same as not enough.”

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

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

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

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