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Hirezaki Eiho, 1880-1968
lithograph kuchi-e; signed Eiho hitsu with artist's seal Eiho, published in the journal Fujokai, April 1918
o-tanzaku 7 3/4 by 16 in., 19.69 by 40.64 cm
Hirezaki Eiho was a well-known and prolific illustrator and painter of the Taisho and Showa periods. Born in Tokyo, he apparently struggled with illnesses as a young man (beriberi and pleurisy) brought on by overwork as he supported his grandparents and later his own family of seven children. He studied ukiyo-e painting with Migita Toshihide (1863-1925) from 1897 which he supplemented with a period of study of Maruyama-Shijo style painting with Kawabata Gyokusho (1842-1913) from 1904. In 1901, along with the painter Kaburagi Kiyokata (1878-1972), Eiho was one of the founding members of the Ugokai (Cormorant Society), an organization which sought to promote artists that were left outside of the official government exhibitions which had become increasingly influential (and they felt unfairly) in determining the success or failure of the careers of Japanese artists. At the same time, Eiho worked as an illustrator for the newspaper Asahi Shimbun from 1901-1923; the publisher Shun'yodo from 1902-1913, and for various magazines. He illustrated numerous novels and serialized magazines for which his designs were issued as woodblock prints, or, increasingly from the 1910s into the 1920s, as color lithographs such as this lovely composition of a beauty checking her hair which was included in the April 1918 issue of the journal Fujokai.
Matsumoto Shinako, Bewitching Beauty- the World of Hirezaki Eiho, the Resurrected Artist of Genius, 2009, pp. 50-51