Woodprint artist KATSUHIRA TOKUSHI was born in 1904 in a Japanese paper craftsmen’s family in the Teppo ward (now Omachi) of Akita city. from his early days he was a very good drawer and at the age of 20 he did his first attempt of printing, thus coming in touch with the vivid coloring style of Ukiyoe pictures.
KATSUHIRA was self-taught and mastered printing techniques by himself. The trendy idea of art and novelty printing of the time was that a single artist should complete all the process of the picture – from drawing to carving and then to printing alone. Following that idea in 1928 KATSUHIRA discovered an original coloring technique that he constantly used afterwards.
KATSUHIRA never left Akita and spent all his creative life devoted to depicting the rich nature and local customs of his native town. Simple and robust lines and his original bright coloring can easily distinguish his prints from others. KATSUHIRA’s works won the Entry prize in the National exhibitions and abroad. Many traditional things of hometown Akita can be found in KATSUHIRA’s woodprints.
These are not only valuable as works of art but they are also an indispensable resource for the studies of the local customs and culture of the time. Drawn with the enfolding and observant sight of KATSUHIRA TOKUSHI, his woodblock prints are close to the hearts of many viewers now. His prints help people recall dear scenes from historical Akita that are kept in everyone’s hearts as the true picture of hometown Akita.